watching a hamburger eater … as an existentialist
Eating a hamburger is the gastronomic equivalent of world domination.
I watched him walk into the hotel and order his lunch – They gave him a number on a stick which he sat upright on his table and after a while the little blonde waitress delivered his lunch; his hamburger. Plus chips.
Until the delivery of the food this fellow was behaving like any other member of the general public in that he was sitting still, drinking in moderation and caring not a whisker for those who surrounded him in this public place.
A table or two away a French couple were quietly forking up a small Caesar salad and across the way an Englishman was delicately disseminating a fresh fillet of snapper. A discreet clatter of steel on porcelain. An Australian lady pared her orange into bite sized slivers.
The hamburger eater put away his newspaper, shoved it aside, and he spread his table wide to receive his food, then with both hands he hefted up his meal of bread bun, lettuce, beef, cheese, tomato, onion, relish and bit into it with a mouth as wide and as dislocated as a dumpster. The load was so big his nostrils were clamped up tight and his eyes were squinted against the amino acids extruded by the onions. A red dribble of tomato seeped from his mouth as he chomped and chewed and masticated the load into a manageable paste.
That initial bite done he put the remnant burger down onto his plate and rummaged around for a napkin to clean up the mess around his eyes, mouth and hands. Then he lifted the meal bit into it again, and again – until the it was reduced to a few discarded lettuce leaves and a couple of cold potato chips.
I was reminded of America.