The waiter filets the fish in a smooth motion, the broad knife slipping to the backbone and down along it so the filet slips loose in a single motion, looking exactly like the wing of a dove or perhaps the pale tongue of an angel as he settles it upon the large plate. He drizzles the sauce expertly around the filet and studs this gold stream with tiny capers. With a quiet flourish he wields the gauze-diapered wedge of lemon, sprinkling over the sweet white meat.

Across the room the stranger notices a young couple watching this performance. They emit a glow of sensuousness, their mouths slightly agape, leaning against each other, hands clasped on her lap. He imagines the angel rising above them, showering them with golden light and a gentle but persistent heat. The young man notices the stranger's regard and nods to him and the young girl laughs. It is humiliating. The stranger reddens and feels his stomach tighten. Yet he cannot be angry with them, they are young and in love and thus have no regard for the effect of their actions on others. At the moment she laughed the young girl pulled her lovers hands more tightly against her lap.

She'll pull out days of work to make it perfect and somehow usually does manage to get there, although it may not be where she thought she was going.