You sit on a stool across the butcher-block bar, plastic bag sagging around the box of hair color and the bottle of wine you picked up at Monoprix—One price. One room. A few tea lights. I’m boiling water, slicing mushrooms and onion to sauté in the pan I bought there, too. The jarred sauce sits next to the sink, an ashtray by the window. We sip and talk. Sit and stand, pace and spin. You spin in your socks. You tug and tear at your dreadlocks for an hour before you can say the words. “I used to starve myself.” You pull the phrase out like a Veuve Clicquot cork—no spill—nodding, eyes darting, looking down. I will spend this entire evening combing out your hair, happily helping you unravel yourself. There can be no more pretending I didn’t know. I am no longer worried. I know you are hungry. I cannot tell you this now, but before too long you will be at home on rue du Plaisir, and you won’t let your hair get so tangled ever again. I push the bowl of pasta towards you. Hand you a Monoprix fork. “Here now,” I say. “Eat.”
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 1.