She would have that guitar player over for dinner.

She would ask her friend to tell him to accept an invitation for dinner.

And, she would set aside an hour just to prepare her hair, and then significant time for her face – much more than she usually spent in the mornings, before work. Mostly, she would “eat good” (as her father would always say) the day before, to make her skin luminous.

She’d wear her hair up very carefully, to look casual. Maybe she’d plan the meal meticulously, or perhaps just go with whatever’s in the house. Those results were often surprisingly lovely. But, you never knew.

When he’d arrive, she’d be reticent, not aloof, yet withholding; not contrived, just silent. There would be no small talk, or large talk. No light, or incisive, questioning; no intentions of speech. It always struck her that rock n’ roll musicians could be so verbose in spite of the direct, simple profundity of their medium. Not to spoil this event with the familiarity of language would be her first intent when she’d have this guitar player over for dinner.

Most probably, he’d say: “Don’t you talk?” finally, and she’d reply: “Yes. I usually do.” (Not “often” – so as not to sound sarcastic.) She’d be finishing at the stove when he’d arrive, and he’d be offered a seat. He’d be free to watch her as she gathered up the meal.

She’d work calmly, in an ordinary way. She would have looked directly at him, in his eyes, as he entered the kitchen, but very quickly, then turning her gaze. Throughout her preparations she would view him in a sidelong way, maybe with a small smile. The kitchen would smell like warming food, and he would watch her.

There would be some perfume, light and sweet, not disturbing. This scent would complement the food and the silence. Her face would be still, not involved in thinking, just the part of her body next to her head. He would be free to study its lines and contours as she moved evenly about. When she would turn her eyes toward him, he might choose to smile slowly into her glance.

The light in the kitchen would be gold and pink, blurred in the edges, and naturally directed. There would be no crispness, or clarity, no fluorescence. He would feel the warm food cooking and a desire toward her in their silence together.

This desire would carry the nature of curiosity without the disruption of analysis. A focused energy, a force field within which they would both be contained. He would feel the simple quality of their presence together.

He would feel this if she would have him over for dinner.

But, she probably wouldn’t.

Her son had hollered too much at the concert, at the wrong moments and in a boorish sort of way, like his father. As she’d sat there before them in the audience, her arms were thin in the small, pale yellow T-shirt. Her friend was kind, and aware of her presence, but in a sympathetic way, a condescending sympathy. His attraction for the teenage girl beside him was too apparent, like her son’s noisy assessments. She was indistinguishable. The guitar player would never care to know how complete his pleasure might be in her company for dinner.





© Ruth Ann Scanzillo

8/17/89 – revised 2/21/15

all rights. Thank you. Pass the peas, please.



7 thoughts on “Dinner.

  1. I will have to go back to the beginning of the series for this to make any sense. I like this piece (“Dinner”), sort of an interior monologue, but I need more context.

    As you see, I am logged into my WordPress account and it recognizes me, so it doesn’t ask for any further identification.

    Liked by 1 person

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