“So, if I ate the meat on my plate without separating it from its bones, if I just chewed the flesh right through them, would you call that evolution or just downright lazy?”, Zoya asked me smiling with her big, bubbly eyes.
I stared at her amused, for a moment or two, and then chuckled as I looked sideways. This was her in her classic form. These were the things that kept her awake at night. Me, what kept me awake at nights? Pornography, mostly. Three nights out of seven, or maybe four. You could say I was winning if I told you the percentage had gone down, but the way I saw it, this was on for quite a while now, that I had begun to lose track of it. Off-days and on-days.
I gazed at the contents of her plate. She had ordered steak, medium done. I was almost three fourth into mine while she, on the other hand had begun late as she had waited for the barbecue sauce to soak and fuse into hers. That’s how she always liked her food. Wet and messy. She was the patient one when it came to food. The one that would wait minutes and hours. Never in a hurry to gobble it down, even if she was famished. Years since our last conversation, here we were catching up on our lives and it was nice to see for once that there were things in this world that indeed remained constant, immune to change.
“Just have your damn food!”, I replied grinning, as I watched her bring another chunk of meat that she marinated and sliced up well, close to her mouth. She smiled at me, eyeing me with a pinch of longing in her expression. A pinch of longing added to a dollop of despise. I smiled and nodded , as if I was mocking this dilemma that she was in, turning myself and staring at the counter in the process, hoping that I would catch someone’s eye. There were none. All seemed to busy, either taking orders or making food, or maybe blowing each other’s dicks.
“Why is it taking so long?”, I wondered out loud as I got fidgety with the sauce bottle that they had supplied for Zoya’s steak. I had only ordered a beef burger. Judging the time needed to prepare a burger and a steak, I was certain that the former should have arrived here fifteen minutes prior to the steak that she had ordered. But here I sat complaining, shifting the sauce bottle in my hands like it was my dick, while she sat there and had all the meat. I left the bottle in peace as I realized how repulsive that thought had turned out in my head.
“Hmmm…”, she mouthed as she chewed. ‘Why is it called ‘fast food’ when it takes ages for them to make it for you? I guess it’s only just junk in the end’, she swallowed a piece as she looked at me, trying to control a giggle. I missed this, these talks where she questioned everything. The way the world worked. The way we acted to the way things were. Are. Whatever. Why two plus two equals four was accepted as the right answer. Why spelling C-A-T with a capital C was correct but K was considered wrong. I missed these conversations. What kind of conversations were I having lately? Arguments with my estranged wife over the phone, late nights? Asking Siri to play me a song when I woke up depressed from a dream in the middle of the night? The ones I had were dark and morose than the sunny, and uplifting ones that I was having with Zoya now. The same ones that I had with her in the past. I guess every living thing yearned for a hot boiling sun, when the moonlight turned it’s nights glum and frozen. What went wrong between us, I wondered, helplessly as I struggled and messed up the burger that they finally brought me.
“You got greedy, as usual”, Zoya said, watching me eat, as if she was reading me. I stared at her but she was referring to only the way I ate. “Everyone is pretty much full when they have a single patty, but you”, she sounded amused. “You always need something more don’t you, like one more patty sounds good. Two is better than one”, she sounded weary as she scoffed, as if seeing right through me. I choked a little as I forgot to breathe for a moment, as I looked at her. Chuckling and wiping my mouth with a tissue as I picked up composure again.
She was right. Maybe the ring on her finger, and the lack of one on mine had made us wiser somehow, over the years.
Tired and old maybe, but indeed wiser.
This was certainly going to keep me up, the coming nights.