Friday, September 25, 2009
Often I eat alone
It's the nature of my work. I don't actually work 'with' anybody really. I have a part time employee that comes in the afternoon to take over but he's here at like 3:30, long after lunch. So when I feel like going out to lunch I take a book. Not everyone is comfortable going to restaurants by themselves but I have never had problem with it. I'm antisocial, what can I say.
So today I felt the need for Chinese food. I decided to go out to the one quick and cheap place near my work (the food is terrible, really I can't explain the urge). Here's a quick not so tangent tangent for ya, we have a janitor here at work. Nice woman, in her early 40's, born again Christian (serious bible thumper), not married, never had kids. She's very nice, very naive, and high maintenance. You know the type? Real sweet but drives you nuts like nails on a chalkboard? She really wants a husband so she's decided to fast once a week. Because, you know, if you starve yourself God will give you a husband. I'm sorry, say what?
I'm just about done eating lunch and in she walks. And, of course, comes and sits with me. We work on a time clock here. I can see at this point I am not going to be getting back within my hour for lunch. Good thing I don't see patients here huh? She proceeds to prattle on to me and I still have my book on my lap and am kind of reading it and nodding and agreeing with whatever it is she's saying. You know what she's talking about? A friend of hers. Male friend. Oh and did I mention that he's dead? Now you know why I like having lunch by myself. Yeah dead guy conversation for lunch. With a born again Christian. Thank God it's Friday.
OK now here's what really weirded me out (mind you, I'm used to these strange conversations with her so the dead guy thing, not so weird), the quantity of food she ate. Swear to God it was not until I moved to Texas where I actually saw people clear their whole plate. All the lunch portions at this place were the same size, soup with crunchies, main course with rice (big ol pile of rice) and egg rolls or rangoons, and a fortune cookie. I'm going to say right now that I could never ever finish a whole serving of whatever it is on the plate. Much less the rice and egg roll/rangoon/whatever. I'd explode. It is physically beyond my capabilities. I think one would have to train to fit that all in. Plus it's not a very good Chinese place, why would you want to pack all that in? Apparently I was sitting across from a food packin' in Olympian. She started with the soup, added about a half cup of soy sauce and crunchies to it. Then her main meal, she added enough soy sauce to turn it to soup and then she scraped the plate clean. Swear to God I'm not sure she even tasted it. Then she ate her fortune cookie. Oh! Then she noticed I didn't eat mine. So she ate that too. Human vacuum cleaner much? And this whole time she's going on about the dead guy. She must not miss him that much because his memory obviously did nothing to quench her appetite. Of course I was almost physically ill watching it all go down. Literally.
And you know why I stayed and didn't just leave when she got there (and I had already been done with my meal?)? She doesn't have a license and someone had dropped her off. I didn't want to leave her there to walk the 5 blocks back to work. In retrospect I should have let her walk. After that meal she really needed to get rid of some calories....