Imagining sweetness

The couple eating next to us and their two children are Persian. The mother has the typical fake blond hair and a slightly rich accent as she announces her order to the waitress. I hear them arguing over what they should order for dinner. Should they get French fries as a side dish or pasta? Should they share a bottle of wine? Despite their varying tastes, they finally settle on French fries and instead of wine order soda. I stir my café au lait gently a couple of times. I don’t disregard its bitterness; I add sugar. But I’m still disappointed by its dullness and can no longer pretend that I like it. In my mind I imagine that I’m drinking a sweet, pleasantly tasty beverage. I imagine that I’m having the best moment of my life. I imagine that I’m not bothered by the heat and someone is ordering the food of my choice: roasted chicken with baked potatoes. I leave the last sip of the disappointing café au lait in its lonely cup and say goodbye to the owner of the restaurant. I wonder if the couple and their kids enjoyed their dinner. Or maybe the French fires were too cold.

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