As he sat thinking and waiting for his food he noticed more of the patrons eyeing him, especially the ones nearest that he had overheard. He fidgeted in his seat and was thinking of heading for the door when the waiter returned with his meal.
“Bon appetite, monsieur.”
He was gone before Adam could enquire about what he saw before him. He picked up his fork and poked at the contents of the plate. The vegetables were mostly recognizable and the broth smelled good but the meat was unlike anything he had ever seen. It was grey and appeared somewhat stringy and cut in big chunks.
He glanced around the room and saw that almost everyone was looking at him openly as though in anticipation of his reaction to the dish. He speared a chunk of the meat and sniffed it. It was meat for sure, but he couldn’t tell of what sort. Hunger overcame caution and he put it in his mouth and chewed.
The taste was not unpleasant but was unfamiliar. He tried the vegetables and found them agreeable so he ate those while he thought some more about the meat. The waiter came back to the table and inquired as to his satisfaction.
Adam pointed to the meat. “Yeah, it’s good. What is this? I’ve never had it before.”
Thinking he was asking about the broth the waiter smiled and answered. “Ah yes, it’s good, eh? Bouyon.” He walked away before Adam could reply.
Adam stared at the dish and then looked up at the paintings on the wall again. He was studying the one of the nude sorrowful looking boy with his back to what looked like a pile of human limbs with the strange people in the background leering. He began to feel queasy and put his fork down. The other patrons were staring at him now and an idea came unbidden to his mind.
Boy on what he wondered? He looked again at the grey, stringy meat so odd and unfamiliar. He looked at the two men who had professed a desire to “eat up” someone they were discussing. They were leering at him. He was certain of it.
Panic overtook him as he thought about the fact that he had eaten a piece of the meat. This place…this strange place full of weird people speaking some sort of gibberish that he couldn’t begin to understand. Could they be…he couldn’t bring himself to finish the thought. He had to get out while he still could.
He jumped up and felt a scream trying to escape from his throat but instead he threw up the offending meat and then ran from the café into the night leaving the door standing wide.
The waiter returned from the kitchen and stared at the mess on the table and stood there looking perplexed. One of the men at the adjoining table spoke to him in Creole.
“Ki sa ki te mal ak moun sa a?´(what’s wrong with that guy?)”
The waiter shrugged. “pa konnen, petèt li pa t ‘tankou bouk kabrit la. Ki sa ki rele li nan lang angle kanmenm? (Don’t know. Maybe he didn’t like the goat. What do you call it in English anyway?”
“Um…I think it’s called goat.”
The waiter nodded. “Ah, right.” He sighed and went to the kitchen to get the bus boy.