The Cooker and the Packer

There’s the cooker and there’s the packer. He’s sort of in-between, doing everything else that’s needed. Take out the frozen sausages. Pack the cajun chicken. When it’s two o’clock and the crowd has died down, he takes the orders. Cheese, garlic, chilli?

I imagine him outside his cooking clothes. Would he come to meet me on a motorbike, wearing a leather jacket and a pair of Aviator shades? That would be cool. Cool. Cool as in James Dean cool. Or Marlon Brando when he was young cool. Aviator shades, leather jacket and a motorbike in a black and white photograph.

The female version (me hopefully) would be a black and white picture of Marianne Faithfull doing the same. Cowboy boots worn to knee-length, long hair flowing down the back of an Aztec-like top. She’s riding on a motorbike, too.

Why are you sold out so quickly today? The lady of the stall looks at her watch. It’s not even one o’clock yet. We’re closing early today. So we didn’t prepare that much food. Oh, I say.

We have a wedding later. Her husband turns to face me. He is the cooker who is always at the pan. He looks the fire and the heat in the face, but now he takes a break. His wife is the packer who takes the orders, counts the money.

It’s not his wedding of course, he adds. Oh I smile. Is that your son? Yes, he nods. If it was his wedding we wouldn’t let him be here. Of course, I smile. Take my sausage spaghetti cream sauce, say goodbye.

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