Breakfast is a hunting ground. I’m on alert. In my periphery I catch sight of the queue for eggs. Only three deep. Two young guys, looking chi chi unruly in a hung-over, holiday type way and one older man. He sports an Angkor Wat t-shirt and a slightly Oxford dictionary type aura. I’m already imagining him spending afternoons in the British Museum and confer a premature laureate on him. Moments pass while I assert my primacy over a toaster salvaged from the fall of Rome and draw swords for the remaining slices of tomato.
I find a table conveniently located next to the egg queue. I like this vantage point. My back is to the bacon and French toast. I can watch the action over the rim of my tea cup. I’m largely invisible. Mid age, white woman. There are enough of us here to kick start the economy of a small nation. Mostly over tanned, over jeweled and liquored up. I’ve scored well on the last count.
The queue is still at three. Angkor Wat gives some imperious instruction to the egg chef and stalks over to the toaster behemoth. The two young guys hang, loose in their bodies, making early morning, state of art, universal love conversation with the Thai chef. The three of them enjoy the exchange.
My mid range age is showing. I have already assumed they are here, bumming around, surfing, drinking, and generally being young. Not in a bad way. In a ‘not making a serious inquiry into the state of the world way’. I judge. Not thinking of my own self of course. For what am I doing? Bumming around. Shopping, drinking and generally being old. And a bit of an idiot as it turns out.
One of them is wearing red shorts. It is a colour I love. It fits. While he talks his hands gesture artfully. The synchronized swimming of body language. He goes for gold. As he turns his attention to buttering up five slices of toast in readiness for his numerous eggs, Mr. Angkor Wat shirt stalks back, demanding attention. The young Thai egg chef lifts the lid of the pan and moves to place them on his plate. Angkor Wat is not impressed. Clearly the barked instructions were not followed accurately. He tells the chef to ‘fuck off’ and stomps away in a black hearted cloud.
The frame freezes.
I scan their faces. I read disappointment and disbelief. And outrage. Red shorts replays the exchange with his friend. Checking in. Did I hear right? Did that guy really do what I just think he did? His friend confirms. Yeah man, he told him to fuck off coz his eggs weren’t sunny side up. Red shorts drops his buttery knife. He scans the horizon until he has his Angkor Wat quarry in range. And then he fires.
I break my self imposed hotel dining etiquette rule. And the world record for undisguised staring. Red shorts is beside the seated form in moments. The synchronized swimming hands are moving again. Less artful now. More artillery like. I can’t hear the exchange. Inside I’m growing big and small simultaneously. Loving the red shorts of this world and all that they stand for. Not loving my own lapse into the bit too pleased with myself place. In my mind I wrench the interesting person laureate off Mr. Angkor Watt and tuck it away. It might be awhile before I pull that out again.
Back at the egg station it is business as usual. Mr. Angkor Wat won’t be fronting up for Round 2 this breakfast. The young chef wears the face of a professional. Composed. Polite. A little guarded. I’m looking at the two buddies again. I have my overextended neck back to a more comfortable angle. They return to their numerous eggs. And to the easy banter of earlier. I catch a little of the conversation, which sounds random, but is aimed generously at the young chef. Yeah man, theses eggs are just great.
Red shorts settles at a table on the sand. Lined up in front of him is his plate of eggs and five slices of toast. Another plate holds the entire hotel supply of Danishes and croissants. And yet another has the whole tropical fruit platter.
I guess hunting is hungry work.