No, I take that back. She was eager. And as professional as could be expected. She wore the part--a silver-sequined skin-tight dress that glinted in the street lamps that lighted the sidewalk--and sang the part, I suppose. But I would've preferred to listen to some oh-woe-is-me wispy pixie draped in a black silk shawl billowing in the breeze meandering off the park across the street, soft-talking her latest attempt at an I'm-a-downtrodden-screwed-over-oppressed-womyn-and-I-hate-men anthem.
Yeah, I was in that kind of mood.
Not sure why. A lot was going on around me, though it wasn't a particularly noisy evening. Nor did it have any kind of 'edge' to it. Just another summer Saturday night at Hamilton Park. Cars passed. Neighborhood residents walked by. A few streets away, a motorcycle engine reved. I watched tennis players getting in a few late night sets just as the day's humidity lifted for the evening.
And I just wanted a plate of pasta.
I hadn't been hungry even a half-hour ago, but now I had a feeling that if I didn't eat something soon I'd be regreting it around the time Saturday Night Live went on. Then I'd undoubtedly half-fulfill that hunger with Haagen-Daz ice cream, or a bagel and cream cheese. So I ordered a plate of Rigatoni Bolognese. I'd get the pasta I wanted and a little taste of meat, which I also desired.
My waiter proved to be quite unenthusiastic. It wasn't an issue since I'd only ordered a Corona and Diet Coke, and the aforementioned rigatoni. But I wondered why he seemed so apathetic. Sure it was a Saturday night, and few people want to work then--except for, of course, restaurant and bar staffers, I'd imagine. It could've been a Monday night, which would be less busy for him, but bring in less compensation. It's either-or.
That wasn't particularly relevatory, since most decisions are either-or. Or both, if you're really fortunate. None of all this took away from the fact that I was enjoying the convenience of sitting at a neighborhood restaurant, among people but happily alone, drinking my favorite beer and favorite soda. Even the singing had grown better than tolerable. In fact, I rather enjoyed the crooner's rendition of "Killing Me Softy With His Song."
"Strumming my pain with his fingers..." What a brilliant way to start a song.
The rest of the lyrics lingered in my mind as I watched, at the table next to mine, an absolutely adorable baby girl trying her best to sing a few bars of "Itsy Bitsy Spider." That, and the rigatoni, made the evening feel complete.
You can't ask for too much more, I suppose.
#HamiltonPark #JerseyCity #alfredcmartino