Off the Menu

Warning: Mature theme (but not explicit)

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The music throbbed, its hard bass line vibrating against her body. It was loud enough that she had to raise her voice so the waiter could hear her order.

He was cute. Very cute. Young, thin, his jeans practically draped off his sculpted hipbones. Dark fringe curtained his eyes. Was it dark brown or black? It was hard to tell in the dark light of the restaurant. He tossed his head back to flip it, revealing deep eyes that could only be the darkest brown. They flashed for just a heartbeat before the soft fringe fell forward, blanketing them again teasingly. Good lord he was beautiful. And sexy as hell.

“Is that all?” His voice matched his face perfectly and his lips curved into a brilliant smile when she nodded wordlessly. She bit back the urge to purr back, “Actually, I’ll take an order of you too, piping hot…” She was fairly sure that wasn’t on the menu though.

“Okay then. I’ll be right back with your drinks.”Light hit the silver lip rings that punctuated either side of his smile as he spoke. They framed his full lips, making sure  attention was paid.

She’d never kissed anyone with lip rings before. She took one last lingering look at the boy’s mouth before he turned to go place their order. She could almost feel the cold slivers of metal against the heat of his soft lips. What would he taste like?

“Maybe I should’ve ordered the pasta instead of the salad.” The whiney voice of her dinner companion limped across the table and brought her smashing back down to reality. She touched her face with the back of her hand and hoped she wasn’t as flushed as she felt. Her eyes flew to the swinging doors again as the waiter came back out, smiling at the people he passed. He was absolutely mesmerizing. “What do you think? Have you had the Caesar salad here?”

“Um, no.” She coughed and took a sip of water to soothe the dry catch in her throat. Her eyes followed him as he waited on another table.

What would his body look like under those clothes? Definitely muscled – but lean like a swimmer. Nothing buff. He was too thin. Too lithe. He was perfect and she knew by the way his t-shirt hung from his chest muscles that his abdomen would be hard with tight symmetrical lines dipping between each curve of his slight six-pack.

“Of course they say Caesar salad has as much fat in it as a normal entrée. All the cheese and dressing…are you alright?”

She started at the question, her eyes flying back across her own table.

“I’m fine.”

“You’re flushed.”

“I’m fine. I think I just need to sprinkle some water on my face.” She rose quickly, the vibrations of her own body now matching the music. She tried to be calm, tried not to betray the lust that was coursing through her. “I’ll be right back.” She walked quickly, heading towards the bathroom. Her eyes sought him out again and she took a longer route than was necessary just to pass by him. She sniffed hard, trying to catch the scent of his cologne. When he saw her, he smiled.

A flash of lightning coursed through her and she could feel an actual wave of heat heating her from the inside. Dear god she wanted him. She wanted to touch him and make love to him. She wanted to see those lips parted in a moan. Her breathing picked up and she had to gulp a few breaths, just to keep from panting. The bathroom air didn’t help. It was hot from the heat of the hand dryers. There were two teenage girls standing in front of the mirror, adding make-up to their already overdone eyes.

“Did you see him? Shannon says he’s in her chemistry class. Says he’s really nice.”

“Oh my God, he is so fucking hot. I am ordering dessert tonight just so he has to come to our table again.”

They laughed and ran fingers under their eyes, perfecting their intentionally smudged black eyeliner. They were already gorgeous. They didn’t need to try any harder. With their skinny, flawless bodies and boobs up to their chins, they were far too sexy for their age.

“Oh, sorry.” One of them said when they saw her. They slid her purses down the counter to make room although she felt as if she should join in their conversation.

Turning on the tap, she slid her fingertips through the stream of cold water. It felt good on her skin and she breathed deeply, a memory of the way the waiter’s shirt clung to his sides in ripples. She shook her head once and then glanced up to check her own make-up. Her deep breath turned into a gasp – an audible gasp of shock that echoed in the small overheated washroom.

“Are you okay lady?”

It was one of the girls but she couldn’t bear to look at them again. Not now. Especially not now. She couldn’t even force herself to glance at their young perfection. She just nodded her head and stared at the mirror.

She stared at the middle-aged woman in the mirror.

With crows feet around the tired eyes and wrinkles creasing her features like a used map, she stared back at herself and remembered that she wasn’t young anymore. Gray roots showed at her temples and outdated glasses that she kept meaning to replace made her look even more ancient. There was a hint of a double chin and she didn’t dare look down farther than that. She knew it got worse. Sagging breasts and a roll of fat around her middle that had been there since the last time she was pregnant. God lord, her youngest was in University. Her roll of fat was older than that god damned waiter!

Suddenly she wanted to cry. Or scream. Or just curl up in a ball. When had this happened? When did she get so old? She still felt like a girl. In her mind she was as young as those girls that were standing now silent beside her. She still had the same yearnings, the same desires as them…nothing had changed in her mind.

The image in the mirror had changed though. She wasn’t ever going to sleep with someone like that boy again. She’d never again touch a body like his or make love with someone that young and beautiful… Her hands cupped her sagging breasts and she watched in the mirror as they squeezed with anger.

“Damn you!” Tears fell down her face. She screamed at the old woman, choked and sobbed at the unfairness of losing herself. “Damn you!”

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15 thoughts on “Off the Menu

  1. When we first became friends a year ago this is one of the first blogs I read on MySpace. It made me cry, sometimes the truth hurts. The realization that youth is forever gone is a cruel truth because of the tricks our minds play on us. I remember when I looked in the mirror and wondered, when did I get old? When did I get those wrinkles beside my eyes? I remember wondering is my hair white or blond. In my minds eye I’m still a twentysomething blond! In reality I’m screaming… “Damn you!” Tears fell down her face. She screamed at the old woman, choked and sobbed at the unfairness of losing herself. “Damn you!”

    Well written Chrissy, thanks for sharing your writings.

  2. Hi Karen! You always write great comments. 🙂 Thank you for coming to read the story – especially if it’s something you’ve already read! One of the main reasons I write is to touch people, to evoke some kind of emotion. If I could touch you then I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It’s hard to get people to read but it’s worth the time and effort if someone says ‘I get it!’ – so thank you! xo

  3. Believe me I do get it! I may not have had the exact same experience but I have experienced the same emotions and wondered…. where did youth go? George Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” He was so right!

  4. Chrissy…well done! I know exactly how this lady was feeling…..if we were honest, I think we have all been there, at one time or another. Inside, we still feel exactly as we did when we were young…..it is only our outer appearance that changes as years pass, and life happens. What is that saying, “We get too soon old and too late smart!”….

    • I remember Mom trying to explain it to me when I was younger but of course I couldn’t understand it then. I love it when I see people embrace the idea that you can be mature but still not cling to arbitrary ideas of ‘acting your age’. I don’t even know what that phrase means anymore and I think the part that’s hardest to deal with, is not what I see in the mirror as much as what other people see when they look at me.

      Thank you Karen! xo

  5. Christine, this is a very provocative story that shows the age-old (pun intended) conundrum of the aging process: our physical aging marches on, but inside, we feel so much younger and ripe with possibilities.

    The keep-yourself-from-looking-old industry is rich because of this angst. We want our outside appearance to match our inside feelings. But that isn’t going to happen with creams or lasers. A twinkle in your eye and a genuine love of yourself goes a long way to make you attractive on every level.

    Well-written piece. Bravo!

    • Thank you Lorna. “A twinkle in your eye and a genuine love of yourself goes a long way to make you attractive on every level.” This is a great sentence and I couldn’t agree more.

  6. Damn girlie- i printed it and then read it again- i had said it before on MS what a wonderful writer you are- and you get us to thinking- the mirror can be an enemy of sorts- but to many it is what is inside that really counts- not what the wrapping looks like-

    great write sweetie- miss u!!

  7. wow…I can only agree with the others..What a well written story!!
    I would say this story shows, that you might feel younger inside, but still should try to act your age…I guess that`s hard at times…so far, I don`t have this kind of experience ^^…but I think, there is a time, when you really should act your age and not try to pretent to be ways younger…
    anyway keep the writing up!! I love it ❤ 🙂

    • Thanks Franzi. 🙂 I don’t know exactly what ‘acting your age’ means – especially in today’s culture. I think we should quit trying to fit into arbitrary defitions of what’s ‘appropriate’. Forgive me if I misunderstand, but I think you mean to be proud of your age? I agree! It is difficult sometimes though because there are too many expectations and labels out there. People assume far too much.

      The woman in the story is surprised that she’s aged. It’s easy to forget that we’re older in the mirror than we are in our souls. It probably sounds silly to someone as young as you. 🙂 I didn’t want her to be put off by the waiter’s age (I’ve always dated younger guys) but put off by her own age. It’s a fine distinction maybe – I should go back and reread and see if I accomplished that. I may have to rewrite. 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting Franzi. I love hearing your feedback!

  8. oh! just saw this now:) thanks! and you understood me perfectly^^ and I totally agree that especially today it is difficult to really find who you are and often people assume to much of people..
    and well as for your second part I guess, we should keep our dreams and thoughts, but nevertheless we shouldn`t forget about reality, even if it`s hard…even getting older is real 🙂 I always say age shouldn`t matter..even if I have to admit I wouldn`t date younger guys, but that`s personal opinion 🙂
    and I`m happy you liked my feedback 🙂 I always enjoy reading your stories! keep it up! ❤

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