She was an average looking woman I thought, as she strutted around the restaurant, with no real beauty. How rare, she seemed all trussed up like a chicken ready for the rotisserie. , I don’t recall ever seeing someone lacking a spark of beauty from within. She settled into the back booth and started shucking a half dozen oysters. I remember earlier observing this guy arrive carrying a wrapped up odd looking white strung up box, set it down on the rear counter, got poured a glass of white wine, then receive a payment for what later turned out to be the oysters. He was an odd looking duck with a black sweater that had a pattern of white dots on it that looked like twenty eyes searching. He didn’t stay long, just left his package and quickly emptied his glass and then left.
Before that a striking lady had entered he restaurant and sat in that same rear booth and chatted up the guy that seemed to be running the place. I thought she had an exotic look about her, maybe it was the city. She carried herself with a lightness, maybe a little too aware, but for her it worked. I had written a couple of sentences in the back of my daughters journal, and shared with my wife something to the effect,,: “Paris seems to give it‘s women an inner spark, they seem more aware of whatever it is that takes so much longer for other women to get.” This attractive lady who I thought in different circumstances might not be so striking, seemed comfortable in herself, which surely in itself is an attractive quality. She met another young lady there and after a short while left, she hadn’t ordered anything, but sat around with her friend and chatted up that guy I thought ran the place.
It wasn’t until later, after I left, that I realized that the young unattractive lady possessed a strange trait. I was watching her shuck oysters and she would occasionally suck a stray piece out of the unused shell, and thought. “Wow, that’s kind of vulgar, whoever ordered this wouldn’t want to see the preparation.” After she shucked an oyster she dutifully laid it down next to the previous victim in it’s open casket. After she has a half dozen completed, she cleans up the area, and applies lemon juice over the oysters, and pours herself a drink of the earlier mans white wine that has been chilling in an ice bag. As she takes her first sip of the sacramental wine, the guy I thought was running the place perches on the chair beside her and pours himself a small amount of the same white wine and puts two plates out.
She served herself an oyster, added a little more lemon juice, and not even caring to offer the man one, just sucked down the oyster. When she sucked down the oyster, she had her free hand under it, should any of the withering life escape. It was a show, I wasn’t staring, not that she would have noticed, she was so enraptured by this oyster, she then had another. Was I imagining this, then she offered the man one, he didn’t empty it with any sense of urgency, seemed as though he enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the last line on the table. The woman however didn’t waste any time as she relished the next oyster, again with her free hand under it. It was surreal, the man may have had another, but the ritual continued for the woman, each oyster was eagerly consumed, and there was no veil of polish, just a base desire. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t get oysters.