breakfast in bermuda

November 14, 2012 Posted by the writer

Wearing black in Bermuda sets a fast impression that you might be on your way to a funeral. Unless it’s accompanied with a tie or stockings. In that case, tourists and locals alike can tell. You’re in town on business. You’ve hopped the short flight from New York to Hamilton to speak in numbers. Talk in terms of billions.

Terms you never imagined engaging in.

When you drink two Bloody Marys with your toast for breakfast at a local cafe, before the morning’s board meeting, the waitstaff knows you better than you think you know yourself.

“Politics or insurance?” a waiter asks his colleague about you. You don’t notice. You focus on alternating. Toast, coffee, cocktail. Toast, coffee, cocktail. Black coffee. No sugar.

“Politics,” says a girl of Asian decent to her Bermudian workmate. “Definitely politics.”

She eyes your dark nylons and patent leather heels. She assumes a wealth about you that simply isn’t true. Something with Manhattan penthouses and private jets. Something she swears she’ll have if she’s ever given the right table.

“Age isn’t a problem,” she giggled over Friday night drinks with a girlfriend last week. “One of these days, one of those old men will be mine.”

You aren’t an old man. You’re a middle-aged woman. You found someone once, he wasn’t as rich as what the waitress is chasing. But he made you smile. The sort of smiles that leave creases as years pass.

Enough years went by to carve lines around your lips, only it was never enough for him to see. He never noticed his effortless style at reconstructing your face. Rebuilding nearly everything about you.

“Would you like anything else?”

You envy the waitress. The only signal of your wish to swap places is a delayed blink which she interprets as a check request. She promptly retrieves a piece of paper and arrives at your table with a sparkle-toothed grin.

“That’s all, thank you.”

About the writer

gretchen's brain is preoccupied with words.

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