Stepping in from the cold, brushing the snow off your collar, you scuffle through the entryway. Wiping your wet boots as you walk, leaving a slippery salt-laden trail behind you. Then begins the dance you’ve done countless of times before, each move coordinated to flow into the next. You begin to remove those old ragged earmuffs from your head with your right hand, as your left unties the matching wool scarf you’ve had for even longer.
After stuffing them both into your jacket pockets, you wipe your nose on your sleeve as you look around the dimly lit restaurant — just a smattering of couples sitting in booths; all watching the closed-captioned TVs above them; all avoiding having a conversation with the person across from them. Your hands start rubbing together in an attempt to start a fire, while your nose starts to sniffle, adding a little percussion to the dull and subdued music being piped in.
As you approach the hostess behind the restraunt’s battered and chipping podium, she begins to ask, “How many to-…,” you interrupt, “One,” while holding up a single finger. You quickly bring your hands back together and raise them up to your mouth, blowing on them in hopes of bringing them back to life.
She replies, “Just one?”
“Yes… just one.”