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Fiction #461
(published November 19, 2009)
High Tops
by Doug Mathewson
Ticket thirty-three and I waited while lower numbers were called out. Since the kitchen just announced twenty-one, I knew my basil udon noodles were still distant.

Just like that it seemed; I was day dreaming about tigers and if they spoke like us what would they voices be like? Would they have Indian accents or tiger accents (and what would a tiger accent be like) and then I wanted Indian food instead of those impending yet aloof noodles; but pretty sure there are tigers in Thailand so the noodles would still be ok. Were they marsupial tigers? No, that's in Tasmanian and I never had Tasmanian food so I drew a blank but what were the Tamale Tigers? Salsa band or South American socialist militia? Pretty sure that could go either way.

Then I saw shoes flash in the mirror near the bar by the floor and they were woman's red high-top Converse, but the stars were on the insides of her ankles and I didn't know if this reversal was a trick of the mirror or she just had them on the wrong feet. But then the counter guy called "thirty-three" and I forgot what the tigers were saying and the girl with the high-tops was gone which was good since I have issues with women's feet and shoes and well . . . issues.

Noodles were suddenly my sole focus but they were bland and I wished I had gone to the Indian place run by tigers and have the lovely tiger hostess in her flowing silk sari with her unsettling gaze recommend "the catch of the day". I was scared to ask what it was and ordered it anyway earning a wide smile and a rumbly deep purr as she said "excellent choice" and I swear she flicked her tail just for me she swayed away to the kitchen. But by then I must have finished my noodles, (or maybe the crows at the next table took them- not sure), and should be getting back to work. Back to being head fact checker for the King, or maybe reviewer of fake Tasmanian restaurants. Just have to see what it says on my office door.

Doug Mathewson's somewhat episodic fiction, True Stories From Imaginary Lives, is available at www.little2say.org.

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