July 30, 2009

J.S. Graustein

Choice Cut

He asks, "Want a bite?"

She watches him swish a generous slice of pink sirloin toward her—tines down, with his left—then studies the hand that offers it; a hand with no ring, bronzed by outdoor work yet elegant in gesture, moon-shaped nails scrubbed clean.

In the movie version, she'd lock onto his caramel eyes and open her mouth to be fed. Run the tip of her tongue along the tines before closing her lips. Slip the morsel off the fork and chew slowly with a sensual smile. She'd hold a reciprocal bite just out of reach to watch his tongue quiver in anticipation. Her right foot would escape her suede sandal and slide along his denim-covered calf. He'd eventually capture his prey, though his maple lashes would flutter as her foot traveled higher still.

Instead she watches her own hands--hands that shake, left one branded with a gold ring—while she prepares a bite of crimson filet for him. Breathless. Speechless.

As if on cue, glass shatters like a vow behind the drink station. Then the autistic boy across the aisle brings the scene to a complete halt with a too-familiar line: "That's alright, Thomas."

So she replies, "Sure. Trade forks for a sec?"


J.S. Graustein writes in flannel, a stuffed frog nestled in her lap. A list of the resulting works may be accessed here. She also plays Managing Editor at Folded Word.

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