This is the third week I have graced our auspicious lunch spot; I still have the usual but ever since you left it is not the same. It is bland and feels like I am sucking on an antelopes hooves. And not even the graceful antelopes. No; it tastes like an old antelope left behind by the herd an antelope so sorry that lion cubs do not want to practice their killing instincts on it. This antelope walks the savanna; sorry, limps across the savanna alone. Because you see; even itself it has lost the will to live. It limps hoping some predator will find it an easy catch. The bigger predators let it go wherever it wants untouched because it is a social outcast. Also let us face that the thrill is in the hunt. No one wants anything handed to them on a silver platter. Although between you and I; I would not mind having a couple millions handed to me even if it was on a paper plate. I’d take it. For us of course.
The antelope. Yes, it stinks of shame. Can you imagine how its hooves would taste like?
I don’t know why you left or where you went or even if you are reading this. Maybe I should have put in more effort to get your number. Then maybe this conversation would have been different. But I can’t be negative about everything; they say every cloud has a silver lining. This one here is mine. I get to write a letter. And then maybe by some weird twist of fate you stumble on it.
Let me tell you a little bit about the advancements that have been made at this place of ours. They changed the uniforms. It is now some shade of green. I do not think it looks bad. I know it looks bad. Actually everything here looks bad and it is only because nothing looks good without you in it. But it was like they knew you would leave. Of course they knew. Because why else would they replace those bright yellow t-shirts with something as sad as green? You know most people think that blue is the sad color. They are wrong. It is green. Blue is for the beautiful things in life; like the sky and the ocean. I have hopes that one day we will go to the sea with you.
They have also changed the seating arrangement. If you were still around I would have had to crane my neck more than usual to meet your eyes and return the smile. Maybe we can say that after you left the place lost its sense of direction? Even in this blanket of grief I am cracking bad jokes. I will blame the weather (isn’t it too cold?) and election fever. I googled it (so you don’t have to) but it is a thing. It is classified as a psychological disorder. Doctors are still trying to figure out how to treat it. It is usually characterized by blind sycophancy, irate social media posts and an insatiable urge for party affiliation. I just call it stupidity but those doctors know best.
Around there are a few new people. None like you. Actually none come close. You should see how I react when they smile or say hi to me. I know they are just being courteous but to them it is a script they have to follow. They have to be nice. I do not want to be served what everyone else is getting off the same menu. There’s no joy in that. Not like you. Your smiles and hellos were more genuine. They came from a place bigger than a script and courtesy. Also a few times I have seen you snap at stubborn clients. The others never do. So I know you do not veil your feelings which was refreshing. I will miss that you know?
The ones you left behind are still the same. There’s the one with short hair and bumpy skin. The one whose eyes look like they’ve been blood shot since Cain murdered Abel. She always messes up my order. Sometimes I think she does it to fuck with me. To see my reaction. But I always smile and ignore it. Like it was nothing. I like to think it does not bother me; I do not even know her name so why would it? I have kept myself detached from them and the antics. Though sometimes when I am having a bad day I point out (politely) that they messed up. From the looks I get it is almost like I am not expected to complain. But the one thing I do not do is let contempt go unanswered. Don’t worry though I still maintain enough decorum to guarantee my return the next day. The rest are okay. There’s the light one who always has a bandanna. I forget her name most of the time. She’s kind. But just like myself she also keeps a distance.
Anyway the first week after your absence I decided to do some exploration. I went to this other place, it is not new it has always been there I just never had reason to go. I thought that maybe by going there might distract me from your absence. Also, deep down, I hoped that after that short stint I would walk back and find you there. Still clinging on to that hope by the way. This new place is okay. Their food not really as good but they have killer fries. It is not like I have a waistline I need to watch. So this became my guilty pleasure. I go there and binge on golden, crisp deep fried pieces of potatoes and a fat piece of protein which is mostly a smokie. I do not like sausages cooked outside the comfort of kitchens I am familiar with.
The ladies here are nice. As much as being hurdled in small groups gossiping counts for nice. I guess the fact that they do not talk to me apart from taking the order is appealing. I have an impervious personality when it comes to strangers. Though I promise I will not get hooked to the fries here. In a heartbeat I can be back to our place and we can pick up where we left off. Sounds like a plan?
Anyway enough of my wasting your precious time.
You are missed.
The smiling guy.