When a diner cannot know with certainty what they are going to order until the waiter comes to the table and asks them.
It starts so simply.
“The chicken. No. The fish.”
And with that, I take my first soft steps into the labyrinth.
Am I the Andrew who orders chicken? Or am I the Andrew who orders fish?
Maybe I am both. Maybe I am neither.
I sit in this silence and dither – chicken or fish, chicken or fish – and all the while, my dining companions chat happily.
A whiff of oblivion curls through the air.
No! No, there will be other meals. I have ordered before. I have eaten. I shall eat one day, again.
But still this sucking anxiety persists, unabating, unrelenting.
I cannot decide what I want for dinner. I cannot decide anything. I will remain at this table forever.
For I have always been here – trapped and starving at the crossroads of chicken and fish.
Nothing to be done.
The universe cracks and rolls over my eyes like a stone.
Where is the waiter? Where is the waiter? Only the waiter can save me.
And then, like a gasp, like an icy whisper in my ear, I realize the horrible truth.
The waiter is me.
Always. Forever. Endless.