Sunday, December 12, 2004

Shabbaton Chronicles Part 7: The Last Straw

Friday 6:25 pm

I am standing in front of the buffet table, with a plate in my hand, waiting behind one other person to get to the “hot food station.” A short, dark woman in her 60’s whom I’ve never met comes over to me, puts a slightly gnarled hand on my arm, looks into my eyes, and, without so much as a “hello,” says “Go on a diet.”

Stunned, I simply turn away from her to get my dinner. But I’m not hungry. I’m feeling something like a spiral of colors, orange and purple and puke green, moving through me in slow motion.

At that moment a man and a woman come to the buffet, and both push in front of me in line. The waiter says “Hello, don’t you see someone was in front of you?” but they just shrug and hold their plates out.

Back at my table, there is no room for my plate because there are so many salads, soup bowls, salad plates, etc everywhere. I start clearing dirty dishes and putting them on the table next to us. The only one who helps is Burn Victim man. The 50-plus woman next to me hands me her dirty plates without looking at me, like I’m a waitress.

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