outwait outrun outwit


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I walked from Old Street station in the soft rain, my hair done up in a style similar to that worn by Virginia Woolf in a photograph, a loose-ish low plump bun, tendrils pulling free from randomly inserted pins, and a turquoise feathered-barrette to keep my growing bangs from falling into my eyes.

I thought I wasn't the only one sitting by myself in the crowded pho house recommended by a friend, until a beautiful blonde woman sat down in front of the beautiful curly-haired man. I was somewhat disappointed, for I half-desired a compatriot, solitary for his own reason, in that humid milieu of lovebirds pink- and bronze-cheeked in the steam drifting from noodle-heaped bowls and sizzling dishes.

But I shall heed MFK Fisher's wisdom: "A is for dining alone ... and so am I, if a choice must be made between most people I know and myself. This misanthropic attitude is one I am not proud of, but it is firmly there, based on my increasing conviction that sharing food with another human being is an intimate act, which should not be indulged in lightly."

And so I finished my crossword, sipped my Tiger until the last drop, and sat back satiated after a decent bowl of pho, the first since my trip to California in January, when I was wearily married.


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