— Why Poughkeepsie?
— No one expects you here. Besides, there are more
mushrooms. Especially now, in this economy.
— People won’t sell unless they need to. Now they do. Up in the
Catskills, they’re selling them to the dealers. They don’t
usually. Complain all you want about bonus limits, but you’re eating
better than ever. You want the chanterelles.
— Eyes on the essential — as always. The wine?
— That’s a tough one. I’m going to say go with a sherry.
— That’s a surprise from you, Roger.
— Just trying to keep you on your toes.
Shoptalk and tax advice ensue. A first course arrives. Then somewhere
against the babel of conversation and the sound of knives on plates, a
chair scrapes against the floor. The light arriving at the table
decreases. More scraping sounds. All too far beyond the realm of the
conceivable, all too quickly unfolding to process until much later, his
eyes record Roger being kicked to the ground while hands push his face
into the pasta. He is handcuffed and pulled toward the door.
Someone cackles: “Perp walk!”
A diner holds open the door for the ad hoc entourage. The newness of the
situation allows illusions to linger briefly. The implications of his
new situation arrive only with the first projectile, an apple. This
meaning is communicated not by the choice of projectiles or their state
of decay, but by savage impacts and the sheer hatred in the velocity.