On Sunday, dinner was sloppy meatloaf shoveled out of a cold, white pan onto her husband’s dirty plate. She winced at the cracked rib she didn’t know she had. It could be worse. He only hit her three or four times a month.
On Monday, dinner was sirloin steak served on sterling silver platters by an elegant, thin black man. His daughter was in the second year of university and still not sure who she was. His son was a fifteen year-old high school hellion. His wife had passed away from cancer six months ago. His employer didn’t know any of this because he had never bothered to ask.
On Tuesday, dinner was the salty crunch of Pringles potato chips, the cheesy zing of pizza, and the stomach-melting acid of Diet Coke. He had stayed home to watch the hockey game on TV, but even if there had been no hockey game, he would have stayed home.
On Wednesday, dinner was grilled salmon by expensive candlelight at Le Chateau. They looked long and deep into each other’s eyes. They had the whole world and all their lives ahead of them. If they only knew.
On Thursday, dinner was spaghetti. It was the ritual meal when they all got together for their annual retreat. Usually it wasn’t very good, but the company was delicious.
On Friday, dinner was warm wind and hot sand. The well had dried up months ago. The Red Cross could no longer operate in the area because of all the fighting up north. All the aid was held prisoner by bureaucracy on the docks of Addis Ababa. Any food that did get through was hijacked by soldiers or black marketers. They were often the same people.
On Saturday, dinner for the family was three Big Macs, one McChicken, three super-size fries, a side salad, two shakes, 2 large pops, two ice cream cones, four apple pies and a box of McDonaldland cookies. They never finished it all – there was just too much.