“I just like comfort food. All anyone really wants from food is to be full. It’s like your reward,” I could feel my face flushing, my speech quickening, as the grinning brunette waiter left.

“You would be surprised how filling fiber is,” Jeannette stated, with her healthy, perfect smile. “You can add fats like avocado and stuff if you are really hungry to feel satisfied, too.”

“I mean, scientists have determined we are omnivores with our teeth anyway, haven’t they?”

Surprise flickered in her pale eyes. “Oh, I’m not vegan. I just eat my meat as more of a condiment. A lot of cancers are linked to too much meat.”

I flicked my straw back and forth between my two pointer fingers. It made me feel a little more virtuous that I had gotten water with lemon.

More quickly than we expected, our food arrived. The waiter handed me a huge serving plate of my macaroni and cheese, grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green bean casserole.

Seeing Jeannette’s full plate of salad, I had to admit it looked better than I thought it would. The vegetal work of art had lettuces with all kinds of colors, a sparse sprinkling of sunflower seeds, perfectly arranged tomatoes and cucumbers, and green olives and pickles. Two small ice cream scoops of avocado proudly topped everything off. As she mixed together her red wine vinegar and a little olive oil, my mouth watered a little as she sparingly sprinkled it over everything.

Still, mashed potatoes and gravy were mashed potatoes and gravy, and I felt no regret until thirty minutes later, when I suddenly felt sluggish and full of bricks.


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