Campus Lunch Vignette

I was munching some bits of tangy chicken from my lunch plate while attempting to digest a side dish of literature. For almost four years since I graduated from the university, I was overwhelmed with giddiness to be back. So there I was, slouching in the campus cafeteria, wallowing in appetite and nostalgia while mentally cramming an academic paper.

Out of the eight food stalls there, I frequent the third one in the left wing though I’ve never bothered to look at its name. I was starting to enjoy my gastronomic adventure when I caught a glimpse of a braided girl in tie-died hippie shirt sans the peace emblem, in front of my favorite stall. Beside her appeared to be her boyfriend. She was handed her change for a thousand pesos and she instantly tucked it in the tight pocket of her equally tight jeans, not bothering to count it.

Aside from envying admiring her skinny figure, I’ve noticed that she ordered chicken parmigiana. Not that I was examining her food, but you see, I was eying that same dish and would have preferred it if my all-time favorite chicken tenders with tartar sauce wasn’t present. Besides, I’ve always been a spectator. Staring at floral knapsacks, denim overalls and layers of lace has become quite a habit. And there she was, standing in her fancy retro get-up, alongside her main fella.

Indeed, lunch time isn’t just an hour to tame the clamor in the gut but a moment to temporarily escape reality. To get lost in the sea of college girls who strut their stuff and college boys who come and go. To let all their entropic chitchats drown in the Japanese music pounding in my ears. And to let my favorite canteen be a sight of faceless youngsters and nameless food stalls, at my convenience.

But I must leave in a flash. I wiped off the last lump of dip with the last strands of white meat dangling on the cutlery. I managed to take one last glance as the flower child gobbles her meal—if I was quite sure she enjoyed it, I might order it tomorrow. By then, I plan to save imagery for dessert.


This is a response to WordPress Weekly Challenge: Lunch Posts

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