Oh how they stare. They know I don’t belong here, but they know why I’ve come.
A once in a lifetime trip. I’ve spent all of my savings and borrowed a fortune to get here. All for this one experience. This one event. This one meal.
The maître d’ leads me to a table and a waiter produces a chair from somewhere. I would have been fine standing but I am not surprised a galaxy-renowned establishment such as this can handle tourists.
The menu is extensive but I can’t read it. I don’t know any of the words. I look up at the waiter, helpless confusion on my face. He nods, takes the menu, and floats away.
I sit there and try to ignore the looks of the other patrons. They lounge on their hover chairs and mumble to each other. A family of three surround a table nearby. I know what they are saying, although I can not hear the words.
“Why bother?” asks the son, “She’ll only eat two mouthfuls and then she’ll be full.”
“That poor skinny thing,” says the mother, “She looks like she’s starving. Don’t they have any food on her planet?”
“All they do is swallow nutro-pills, I wonder if she even knows how to chew,” the father responds.
Finally the waiter returns with a huge platter of food. The smells are overwhelming. I take the utensil, the one called a spoon, and hold it like I practiced. The waiter is floating at my elbow and I look up at him. He suggests I try the one he calls ‘spinachsouffle.’ I scoop a small amount onto my spoon and bring it to my mouth.
The combination of texture and flavor explodes on my tongue. It is, simply, orgasmic.
In that moment I know that all the expense, all the time, all the disdainful stares, all of it was worth it. And I would suffer through it again for the pleasure of that one bite.