Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Meet For Lunch On The 21st Of December, Because Its The Holidays . . .

Place: Sushi & Thai House, Dead of Center Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Time: 12:20 pm

Weather: So overcast, you’d swear it might sleet at any minute

Players: A young Thai boy waiter who speaks no English and a bone-thin sixtiesh woman whose face is pulled tight by some unseen force--the skin of her lids is white, while the rest of her face is something Max Factor discontinued fifty years ago. She’s dressed in a tan suede pant suit, her hair is styled stiffly in what they used to call a Page Boy, and she has absolutely no idea what Please and Thank You mean. She is waiting for her friends Lucia and Sweetie. I will call her Tennessee, because she is a woman Tennessee Williams would have conjured.

Tennessee: My friends are late, do you understand me?

Thai Boy shakes his head and offers her the menu again.

Tennessee: Is it possible that three of us can share THIS?

Thai Boy: I don’t know.

Tennessee: Last time I came here, I had this, this Bento Box and it was very, very filling. I can’t eat all THAT, do you understand?

Thai Boy: I think so.

Tennessee: My friends could share it with me . . . don’t you think?

Thai Boy: I don’t know

Tennessee: You could ask.

Thai Boy picks up the menu, asks her to point to the item

Tennessee: This one, this is the one I am talkin’ about. Its far too large for me, but I think we could share it, all three of us, you ask.

Thai Boy: I don’t know.

Tennessee: Oh, its so overwhelming, your menu. I don’t want to choose something else. This is what I want, but its far too much food for me. I am certain my friends will agree to share it with me.

Thai Boy: Would you like some tea?

Tennessee: Light this candle.

Thai Boy puts the menu down and goes looking for a match.

Tennessee makes a call on her cell phone: Has Lucia left yet? She’s not here. I was expecting her at 12:30. Oh Nevermind!

Thai Boy returns and lights the candle.

Tennessee: There is no sugar on the table. Sweet and Lo, we need Sweet and Lo. Do you have Sweet and Lo?

Thai Boy goes back to the kitchen, there is much chaos, he returns with a small ochre dish filled with pink packages of Sweet and Lo.

Tennessee: The parking here is terrible. I had to walk a very long way to get here. I certainly hope my friends can find a parking space. Do you know there wasn’t one open parking space?

Thai Boy: Tea?

Tennessee: I hate to order tea before my friends arrive. What kind of tea?

Thai Boy: Jasmine, Oolong, Green . . .

Tennessee: Oh I don’t know . . . did you ask?

Thai Boy cocks his head, he’s confused.

Tennessee: about the Bento Box?

Thai Boy: I don’t know

Tennessee: Oh, go ask.

A woman dressed in red wool pants and a navy wool blazer looks in the window. Its Sweetie. She’s wearing enormous dark sunglasses despite the absence of sun. She is carrying a large paper shopping bag with a reindeer jumping the moon on its side. She’s on the phone. She waves. Practically presses her face to the glass. Tennesse: You hoo! Yes. Oh You’re here!

Sweetie comes in the door. She’s on the phone: I have to go now, I’m here, God bless us.

Tennessee: OhVer here, yoo hoo, here I am!

Sweetie: Hey, well look at you! Don’t you look darlin’!

Tennessee: Lucia is late, I knew you would get here first. The parking here is awful.

Sweetie: Really? I had no trouble. Have you been to the Nail salon? I just love them -- sweet Korean girls. I just have to go to the Lady's, excuse me . . .

Sweetie puts down her bag and disappears. Tennessee calls the Thai Boy: My friend has arrived, what kind of tea was that?

Thai Boy: Jasmine, Oolong, Green . . .

Tennessee:  We’ll have the Jasmine. Its mild isn’t it? I can’t have anything Too Strong.

Thai Boy: Yes, yes . . .

Tennessee: you didn’t light the candle

Thai Boy pulls a small box of matches from his vest pocket and lights the candle again

Tennessee: That’s much better

Sweetie returns and sits down: I forgot my lipstick. Your lipstick looks so pretty Tennessee.

Tennessee: I just washed my hair.

Sweetie: I’ll put lipstick on after lunch I suppose.

Tennesse: Oh there’s Lucia! Over there? How does she park that Big Car? Do you think she knows we’re in here?

Sweetie: Oh Lucia will be okay.

Tennessee: So I asked the boy if we could share this . . . its far too much food for just one person.

Sweetie: I had the Day From Hell Yesterday . . .

Tennesse: You did? Oh dear . . .

Sweetie: I had to pick the tree all by myself because Terry is out of town, you know. And then I had to explain to them how to get to our house to deliver the tree. Well, I wanted a twelve foot tree but I could only get a ten foot tree and so I was completely disappointed. You know I have 60 people coming on Christmas Eve and they expect the twelve foot tree, every year, its twelve feet high, that’s what my great room holds, but this sort of sad looking ten foot tree arrived and I decided the only way to make it bigger was to put more lights on it. Well, I had 800 lights in the attic and Evan couldn’t believe it, I was down there on the floor stringing the lights all by myself and I put just 600 lights on the bottom half of the tree and he said, “oh my god, Sweetie, you are putting waaaaay too many lights on the tree!” and I said, “Evan, will you shut up and go out to the store and buy me more lights, because that is the only thing that is going to save Christmas. We need at least 800 more lights to dress up this pathetic excuse for a tree!

Tennessee: I would say that was a day from hell, yes, poor you! Oh here’s Lucia and she has a big Christmas bag too. I just brought tokens! Tokens and y’all brought great big Christmas bags! I’m just ashamed.

Lucia: Look at you two! Stand up I want to see what you are wearing! Oh oh, Tennessee, that is the prettiest color lipstick on you!

Tennessee: I just washed my hair this morning!

Sweetie: Lucia, Tennessee was worried you wouldn’t be able to park.

Lucia: Tennessee, you just don’t know how much I love my big car. I nevah have a problem parking it!

Tennessee: Now I’m serious, we need to split this Bento Box thing three ways, I can’t eat all this food.

Lucia: You and Sweetie split something, I’m starving, I want some Terriyaki steak! and some Broccoli. I’ve been shopping allllll morning with my daughter-in-law -- sweet little mess that she is. Do you know she’s pregnant AGAIN?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i like this shannon. i like how these wildly different characters come together and exist as one~~~joel bergquist