Mary sat staring at the woman across the dining room, a couple of tables over, not realizing that she was doing so. The woman was probably in her fifties, hair in varying shades of grey and white. Cut short, close to the neck, volume at top, blown dry to a poofy feather in the front. Her glasses were surprisingly fashionable, like she’d had them put on her face by a stylist at a photoshoot for an eyewear advertisement.


The woman was wearing a grey-blue tank top, beige capris in swooshy water-resistant material, belted with a white rope, and on her feet, grey and orange hiking shoes with short black socks. The shirt stretched over her her heavy sacks of breasts that rested atop her stomach, which in turn rested on top of her thighs. The fabric of her shirt cinched into the folds of fat on her back, pinched in by her bra. Her fleshy arms dimpled almost cutely at the elbows, the sponginess of the top part of her arm billowing slightly over onto the bottom part. She had no wrists. Just arm straight to inflated hand and sausage fingers, grasping her glass of pop.

The woman’s mouth was open slightly and she had a finger in there. The finger was moving in a way that indicated that she was trying to get at something. After a few moments, the finger emerged. The woman studied what was on her finger, then popped it into her mouth and chewed the found morsel. That’s when Mary looked away, realizing she’d been staring. She wondered what the woman would have thought if she’d known someone had been watching her. In fact, she had known someone was watching her because the woman had been seated across from someone at the same table when she’d gone in for the food stuck in her teeth.

Originally posted September 3, 2012


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