In a New York Belgian restaurant a woman’s coat lies open on the floor.
She has just slept through the most important meeting of her life.
An art dealer is waiting for money from Turkey
and talking heatedly into her cellphone about swift codes.
I plug in my computer and lights do not come on.
Funny how a panic can begin to creep in.
“How many times do I have to tell you: I hate asparagus!”
Again sending back her omelette, a woman remonstrates.
A mother and baby cannot stay to finish their breakfast.
“Daddy!” “Daddy!” he wails as she rolls him out the door.
They get in a cab, and, as the driver pulls away from the curb,
a van cuts him off, and another driver starts yelling.
I am left with my pain perdu (French toast).
People these days have many cell numbers.
Never mind “Daddy!” we need more breasts!
— Poem and drawing (of Evelyn, a favorite model) by William Eaton
∩ This poem originally concerned the morning of 30 October 2009, at La Petite Abeille restaurant on First Avenue and 20th Street in New York. That restaurant has now closed and life has moved on, which has led to at least one adjustment to the poem: cell numbers instead of business cards.
I absolutely love this acutely accurate slice of life. It leaves me longing to be comforted somehow. I also love the drawing!
Thanks Carol! I was reminded after posting how back in the previous century, in 1990, I was working with an organizational development consultant, and we chatted a lot, and one thing she said was, “Everyone needs a wife.” By which she might have meant that there were fewer and fewer wives to go around (as more women were entering the official workforce). But I believe what she had in mind was that these women, such as her, who were working hard in the official workforce, also needed wives to come home to! Meanwhile, I hope the polar vortex has not reached NC.
Men used to be more protective. Not so much anymore. But we all need protection and comforting from time to time.
Ah. We don’t just need breasts, we need broad shoulders, too!