Babbling people; speaking about a week of appointments, deadlines, lunches and sexual encounters. Their collective drone blends to a monotonous hum you don’t mind anymore. Gulping, swallowing, and hacking at my ears with their united laughter over something that, had they been alone, wouldn’t have raised one of their painted eyebrows. They all lean in, spit bits of food out of their mouths, and fall back in our chairs.
Knives and forks clink together; clink on plates, clink on teeth. Empty cups rattle on saucers as they get taken back, another drink ordered. They hit the bottom of the murky sink with a thud, like a submarine cranking into motion. The espresso machine hisses as he clears it. It spatters and remains humming. The thick noise of coffee going into a glass is accompanied by the lighter, frothier sound of soft drink in a glass of ice. Fizzling and bubbling to the very lip. Plates break, cups break, plastic containers break. Too much dishwasher can kill a small container. True fact. They get thrown on top of the uneaten food, egg shells and napkins with a crunch-of-autumn-leaf sound. A heavy foot goes in and compresses it all in a frenzied rush, leaving lots on the floor to mix awkwardly with the spilt sink water and coffee grounds.
“Fucking fat people”, he says, “They order it all.” Orders given, orders put on the spike.
The boss, letting out his homicidal rage on the bag of ice as it’s smashed against the floor. Some spills out, cracking, melting. Chips sizzle, bacon sizzles, pan handles sizzle, and brows sizzle. Sauce is squirted, sperm jokes are made. Egg shells are flung, burnt bread is flung. Everything flings or sizzles, squirts, cracks and melts. People wave, we wave. They thank us, they tip, they pay, they take a card.
We fling, sizzle, squirt, crack and melt.