Lunch Hour

Hey, you gonna finish that?

I glance up from my limp fries to see a man leaning over me.

What?

If you’re not going to eat that, I will.

I push the plate away from me.

OK.

The chair scrapes as he pulls it back to take a seat across from me. He bends over the plate, concentrating as he starts shoveling its contents into his mouth.  The diner’s noise falls away as he goes to full screen in front of me. Only a full screen is able to present his massive presence.

We sit quietly. I’m not ready to head back to office drudgery. I’d been considering staking out a bench in the park; it’s easier to think away from those four oppressing walls. Now my attention is diverted by this intrusion into my day.

He glances up at me with a shy smile as he drags the last stringy fry through a ketchup puddle, taking his time, making it last.

Would you like some more. I could order a sandwich?

Oh, no. This was fine. I noticed you weren’t interested in eating the rest and I hate the thought of food going to waste. So many people are going hungry nowadays. Children, you know.

Who are you?

Why, I’m your conscious.

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