Snakes and Pills

020 - head stroll

Roxy sat at the table by the window. By herself again. She wondered why she was always attracted to this Italian restaurant. She wasn't too fond of Italian food anyway, and it was filled with happy couples and happy families. Roxy didn't consider herself unhappy. But she was alone.

She looked around. The couple in the corner was fighting. It wasn't very obvious, they weren't loud or obviously distressed. But the lines around the girl's eyes gave it away. Their conversation had taken a turn for the unpleasant. Roxy wondered briefly what he had brought up that had taken them from just another happy couple to perhaps being two separate, individual entities by night's end. Perhaps it was another girl, she thought, or maybe something as trivial as her looks.

The table nearest to the entrance to the kitchen was a six top. Only five seats were occupied though. A family--mom, dad, and three kids. The kids, two daughters and one boy, seemed to be all close in age, maybe from five to seven or eight. There didn't seem to be any occasion for them dining out at this Italian restaurant, just a pleasant family outing. But mom and dad, too, were not actually happy. They weren't even fighting, but their bodies carried this invisible yet existent burden. The kids were happily consumed with consuming their macaroni and fettuccine, yet mom and dad just seemed to push around their raviolis, dreading something that was coming. Roxy couldn't tell what was coming, but it was something terrible.

Returning to her own table, she stared at the spaghetti and meatballs sitting there. The fork and spoon had mildly disturbed them from their original configuration that they had as they were leaving the kitchen. Roxy picked up her fork, planning to resume the disturbance. Just then, though, she glanced up and out of the window.

A boy, not more than nine or ten, walked by the window. She locked eyes with him, only so briefly. He was carrying a blue plastic bag of a moderate size, and he seemed to be carrying it intently. She followed him with her eyes as he continued along his path, to some indistinguishable goal involving the blue bag.

Roxy asked for her check.


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