The Process of Eating Alone in the Caf

Timeline as follows:

11:15am

French class is dismissed. Exit Dealy with a new sense of despair. Returned exam grade is weak. Remember taking it hung-over. Priorities are not straight.

11:17am

Accept fate. C’s get degrees. Make way to McGinley for a delectable meal.

11:20am

Greeted by Yadira at front desk. She calls me “baby girl” and reminds me that Friday is only four days away. Sense of hope is re-instilled.

11:23am

Where should I sit? I am alone. A secluded booth would be ideal. I glance around the congested room. Groups of jubilant friends occupy the booths that should be designated for loners. A high-top table facing the window will suffice.

11:25am

I am hungry. No. I am hangry. I have forgotten about Yadira and her overwhelming loveliness. All I see are long lines. And am overcome by the smell of hot grease.

11:30am

Scurrying around food court. Mentally curse my dairy intolerance. Options are extremely limited. Agitation sets in.

11:34am

I settle for a sandwich. Realize I have left my phone at my seat. Am forced to actively use my brain for a few minutes instead of mindlessly scrolling through memes. Agitation and hangry-ness are rapidly increasing.

11:40am

Staring off awkwardly into distance. I feel uncomfortable but cannot let observers sense insecurity.

11:43am

Sandwich line is moving at a glacial pace. Still do not understand the difference between toast and roast? What does that mean? I recognize a boy I saw in Howl. A stranger. He is wearing a cool outfit. We will probably date.

11:45am

Nicole from class approaches. She is very pretty and smart. Nicole is good at French. She asks me who I am with. I stutter.

11:47am

Wave to an acquaintance confidently despite the fresh incident with Nicole.

11:50am

Retrieve sandwich. And a hefty amount of Lay's chips. Someone is using the spoon so I go at it with my hands. I’m sorry.

11:51am

I am home. To my window. My back is turned to all human life. I put headphones on to ensure isolation.

11:51:37am

First bite of sandwich. Almost positive this is not my sandwich. Almost positive this is some sort of synthetic meat. Too lazy to return to counter. Or to be concerned about my health.

11:55am

Food is inhaled. I hope my future boyfriend did not witness my barbarian-like consumption. He will not judge me though. I know one day he will find it endearing.

12:00pm

Memes.

12:12pm

Realize I have been looking at memes for twelve minutes.

12:15pm

Bring up dishes to conveyer belt. Consider whether or not I should actually toss my silverware into mysterious blue bath of chemicals. I hesitate because every time it splashes on me. I decide to be a good person. I am still unfazed by potentially poisonous substances.

12:19pm

Make way to door. Do not see boyfriend. He left without me. I will forgive him eventually.

12:21pm

Feeling very content. Made it through my delectable meal with very few undesired interactions.

CampusFiona Shea