I sat in the restaurant listening to my friend prattle on about his weekend, the latest movie he saw and how good some locally-concocted microbrew is when I was distracted by a skinny woman who entered the restaurant and was shown to a table about twenty feet from where I was sitting. She was not just thin…she was impossibly thin.
The kind of woman who could run around in the shower and not get wet.
The kind of woman who could walk into a room with a motion detector and the lights wouldn’t even click on.
The kind of woman that other women hated.
She was dining alone, and a waiter came over to her table and offered her a menu, which she scanned quickly. She spoke her order, and handed the menu back.
When her food arrived, the waiter placed before her a large white plate containing three peas.
Not three orders of peas.
Three, single peas.
She placed her napkin in her lap, picked up her knife and fork and started to carve up the first pea.
She lifted the first pea portion to her mouth with her fork and started to chew, thoughtfully and thoroughly.
She lifted a second portion and did the same, chewing 32 times as often advised but rarely recognized.
After about 20 minutes and only a few sips of water, the woman had fully consumed two of the peas. One tiny pea stood by itself, lonely on the plate.
A waiter returned and after exchanging a few words, he left a check and removed the plate.
The woman placed her payment inside the black rectangular folder with the check, and the waiter returned carrying a little, teeny tiny take-out container, smaller than any take-out container I had ever seen. it was barely the width of your pinkie in any direction, and could only contain the pea.
The woman rose from her table, opened her handbag, and tossed the container inside. It landed on dozens of other containers, exactly the same size.
I stopped my friend’s conversation and said “Wait a minute. I have an idea for a story.”