She was in line behind me. That is where I noticed her. She was tall, slender. Her hair was black. I am not sure what she was ordering but a poached egg, some wakame, appeared to be toppings. Her bowl of udon was not steaming, so I could only guess she was having the cold style with sauce—appropriate for the season.
Because it was summer. I was eating noodles with scallions and ginger. A bit of daikon radish and umeboshi.
I had sat down to think. The noodles in the bowl were slippery and long. Delicious and obviously, sensuously asking to be transformed into metaphor—always memory and the viscosity of the past.
She carried the tray over to the window seat and sat down to eat. Her legs were long so she took up the two seats there. Perhaps a trained tactic to ward off creeps. It made sense. She was an attractive woman.
I wanted to tell her that it wasn't only the creeps at the noodle shop. The sick men on dating sites who stalk. The rapists with their dick-pics right there on her phone.
Watch out for that professor, the one you go after. He might wreck your career.How boring and awful I would be to tell her that. She might even be polite enough to listen. Perhaps there would be a shred of parallelism or synchronicity.
Watch out for the handsome guy in Germany who says all the right things, feeds your lust for travel and sex, takes it from you and leaves you with pelvic inflammatory disease and no chance of ever having children.
Or the one who wastes your time and you slowly learn to hate. Watch out for him.
But really, it wasn't fair because what I wanted... I wanted to be 23 again. To start over with sovereignty, a bare arm and a bowl full of noodles.