But wait. Look at it. Just look at it. No, I know you’re starving, but that’s an actual plate. China, actually. Pristine clean. And the silverware, laid out like a resolved calculus equation.
The napkin. How do they fold it like that, so it it stands up like a sentry, protecting the valuable cargo next to it?
Then there’s the food. Ahhh, smells so good. Fresh. Right from the pan to this plate — no plastic or cardboard container transition. And they didn’t just throw it on the plate like me turning over the take-out container and plopping it on my plate. No, they shaped it — a beautiful, colorful circular pyramid, like a three-dimensional pinwheel.
And look at the colors: they glisten! Let me just take this in. And I’m sitting down, across from a friend who’s doing the same thing. Quite a change from being hunched over my apartment counter watching YouTube videos of parkour guys kissing poles as they do headers on stairs.
I’m just taking in this experience, INSIDE A RESTAURANT. An experience I used to take for granted. With a beautifully prepared meal I’m enjoying with my eyes before my nose and mouth even introduce themselves. Before the pandemic — before we started hoarding meals in the corners of our homes like mice with crumbs — who even gave a shit about meal presentation and ambience? But now? It’s a visual feast.
Of course, the best is still to come. The primal, and somewhat carnal, pleasure of devouring this exotic bounty. But for just this moment, the visual feast is enough.