Burn on the Outside

It is Sunday evening, the time when more families are dining out. I breeze past the waiting crowds and seat myself at the pasta bar and watch the chefs play their game. Soon I have a glass of red zinfandel and some bread.

I am surrounded by hustling waitstaff and faced by a line of hurried chefs. I cannot see myself, I have no feelings, I am a wallfly sipping wine. Because I sit before the pizza chef, I order a pizza and see it created. He hands it to me, bypassing the waitress. “Pizza 201 is gone!”

After the meal I am aware of the tension. I have succumbed to the excited ambience of the staff. Cheese flies through the air. The pizza chef juggles pies into the wood-fired oven. My ex-waiter asks about the food and rushes away. I am not calmed by the ice cream.

I see the oven. I see the fire. It tells me to relax. It shows me without hiding. The fire shows me how to burn on the outside. I want to burn on the outside.

A man sits down offended. He is always offended. He places his order that way. He asks offendedly for the pepper. I hand it politely and he grinds it in revenge. I want to show him the fire. I want him to learn to burn on the outside.

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