The Sandwich Bar

I stopped outside the sandwich bar. Behind the glass, behind the counter, a girl was busy making sandwiches. She stopped occasionally to brush a strand of long dark hair from her face. She never looked up.
Momentarily aware of myself standing and peering so obviously, half eaten apple in hand, I made the pretence of straining to see the clock above her head. But the flow of people that waded past me through the blustering and overcast day kept their eyes elsewhere and so I watched her as the apple between my fingers turned brown in the air. The passers by would block the view, their dark shapes moving past the lighted windows of the sandwich bar like an outward blink.

She laughed with a handsome young man as she handed him his sandwich but to me their voices were silence. Her eyes, large and dark, followed him as he turned to leave the shop, hesitating a moment at the door when he was gone. We sighed. He stood for an instant as the door closed behind him. His once smiling face now held a deeper, well-bred flat expression. His eyes briefly met mine, but with no interest, before they fell to the street as he entered the stream of pedestrians.

Almost unable to stop myself, I continued to watch the girl. I was lost in dream until gradually I became aware of a face looking back at me. The face lay in shadow like the features of a skeleton - eyes black, yet still they were staring. I moved away quickly, burying myself in amongst the people. As I trod through the streets I tried to remember her but now each blink did not bring forth the image of beauty but instead threw back at me, as the glass had, a partial image of myself. Scared and alone, unable to feel the beauty that surrounded me. So much promised pleasure crushed by its own growth of pain.

Jason Clare

Moby Dick Whittington
Moby Dick Whittington