malevolence in his eyes. I can still feel his poison inside me... but at least he walked away. Looked at my face and walked away. Just a yob in a hurry?
Or is my disguise better than it seems? Did he look into the face of a dead man and not recognise the face underneath?
My thoughts disperse as a vaguely cohesed grease-slick approaches, not bothering to stifle a yawn as he slaps the menu on the table and mumbles a grudging inquiry as to what I might desire. I am tempted to respond with some witty retort, some barbed chastisement, some devastating riposte that would wipe the smug indifference from his face. But I know that such subtleties would be wasted. Lost. Pointless in the extreme. They could also be dangerous. So I say nothing. I simply ignore him and browse through the menu in the hope of finding inspiration.
After running my fingers down the list of culinary hoaxes and despairing at their sameness, I abandon my search for inspiration and sift through the prices. My increasingly bored waiter hovers at my shoulder, tapping his pencil on the back of his wrist as if conduction some invisible orchestra or rehearsing twenty-seven different ways to slit my throat... and all the time he never once looks at my face.
'You wanna order or you wanna me comeback?'
'A coffee and hamburger,' I reply.
'You no wan no chips?'
'No chips. Just a coffee and a hamburger.'
With a new found interest in life he scribbles something onto his pad, tosses the offending leaf onto the table and beats a hasty retreat towards the inner sanctum of the kitchen. I lean back in the chair and gaze out of the window at the steadily falling rain.
Just light summer rain. Nothing to fear. A trifle inconvenient for early-evening revellers, but, for the moment, just light summer rain.