The Waffle House
A descriptive writing exercise.
Sit in a public place, observe a person, write about them.
Standing in a queue at 2 pm on a Friday, was not quite where I expected to be when I agreed to meet my friend with her 2 year old son. I thought that we would probably be able to walk into the restaurant and be seated; after all it was well past the normal lunch time for working people, but obviously not in St Albans.
I was looking at the backs of the heads of people in the queue in front of us and my attention was drawn to the beautiful silver grey, wavy hair, slightly overgrown belonging to what appeared to be a rather distinguished gentleman perhaps in his mid sixties. The sort of hair I would love to run my fingers through.
What, I wondered, was a person of his standing doing in a queue at the door to the Waffle House?
I tried to catch a glimpse of his face, but he was determinedly looking forward waiting for the waiter to catch his eye, he was next to be seated. A bell rang, the waiter approached with the menu, and the man followed him to a seat at a table for four in the centre of the restaurant. He sat there on his own reading a folded newspaper, back straight, shoulders pulled back and head held high.
I could see very little of him at that time but I did see two tables being vacated very close to him, so perhaps I would get an opportunity to observe him further.
The bell rang again and the same procedure, the waiter, menu in hand, escorted two ladies, one elderly and her daughter to the vacant table furthest from the man, and very soon afterwards the bell announced that it was our turn to be seated, right next to him. What luck!
Having removed our coats and ‘disappeared’ them all onto the spare chair, we could give some attention to the menu. I let my friend order for me, she was a frequent visitor to this place.
Order given and coffee delivered, I looked again more intently at the silver grey haired man.
His food had been delivered, and I could see he had ordered the same as us, banana with cream and chocolate sprinkles, with added maple syrup. It did look delicious but certainly not what I would have expected him to order. He must have been hungry as the waffle was half eaten so I knew my time would be short to observe him.
He was sitting across the aisle, the same side of the table as me so I only saw his face in profile. As he ate, his hair fell forward, it covered his forehead, his ears were completely obscured and the length of hair at his neck was deceptive as it had waves and curled, but it reached the bottom of his jacket collar and was shining clean, albeit a little overdue for a trim.
His nose was straight and pointed, quite fine, not bulbous, his eyes were not really visible to me neither were his eye brows, but his skin appeared well cared for and his chin closely shaven and smooth.
His hands were the only other part of his flesh I could see and I could tell that they were well manicured as I would have expected. I could see no wedding ring on his left hand which was nearest to me.
He motioned to the waiter for his bill and when it arrived, paid in cash. He did not ask for a receipt. I assumed from that, he was not on expenses and had no need to worry about money, or at least not the cost of a waffle and cup of coffee. He was quietly spoken so I did not perceive an accent or distinctive inflection in his voice.
When he rose from his seat I could see that his grey flannel trousers were neatly pressed, his brown shoes, highly polished and his tweed jacket fitted snugly round his shoulders, waist and hips. His chair had been considerately replaced under the table.
The newspaper he had been reading whilst he waited for his meal to arrive, was carefully re-folded, placed under his left arm and he left the restaurant, the same way he came in, with erect stature, head held high and without a backward glance.
His demeanour gave no indication as to what he might have been doing eating a waffle in a waffle house in St Albans on a Friday lunchtime, nor where he might be heading with his purposeful stride, but wheresoever he was going and whomsoever he was meeting would have to be, to my mind, somewhere and someone of his standing.
Perhaps he was a secret banana and cream waffle eater !
Oh how I would have loved to grab my coat and follow to find out. Perhaps I will return to the Waffle House around 2 pm on another Friday to see if he is there. He would be easy to recognise from his beautiful silver grey, wavy hair, his smart appearance and no wedding ring.
Body of Text 845 words