Short Stories

The Stranger with the Tupperware

I was eating alone, at a table with a view at the entrance. A stranger walked in, headed straight to my table, and said hi. No name, likes and dislikes, life purpose, mood, or anything else came after that word. Instead, he slammed his big-bellied backpack down on the woozy, wooden table making the glasses and silverware shriek, then he pulled out four Tupperware bowls of pasta. He sensually pulled the tight, red top off of the first stuffed rectangle full of bow-tie pasta revealing wet and woozy pasta the color of well-maintained teeth lying next to thick tomato sauce. He disturbed their nap and mixed them together, caressing them with his fork, the smell of garlic, mushrooms, basil, and a secret family ingredient colonizing the oxygen around the table. He stuck his fork in and threw some of the pasta back in his mouth. With each raw and open chew, he let out a groan. And as he munched, his thick eyebrows, the color of the wooden table, wiggled and danced to the beat of his chewing like bushy caterpillars. He devoured the pasta, threw the violated Tupperware back into the hungry black hole in his backpack, then pulled out a laptop and laid it on top of the aging table. He opened up the second Tupperware and began munching on cold, bloated ravioli that smelled of my middle school cafeteria. He was typing and munching. Typing and munching. I got so caught up in watching him that I forgot to say hi back. As my mouth opened to utter the two letters, he threw his spotted fork on the table and began complaining to me about school and finals.

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