The restaurant

The restaurant- the woman in blue

The restaurant

Second date

–Read the previous chapter–

— Read in Italian–

A restaurant is quite a choice after a first date at the cinema. The reason why people decide to go to the restaurant is obviously not to seat and eat. To eat the easiest solution would be to press a button. In every apartment of the metropolis you will find it, with the picture of a small man handling a tray. Click on it and voilà magically you’ll have your order in few minutes directly at your door. A hot voice simply asks you what do you want to eat and then disappear with an orgasmic

bip

leaving on your own, waiting for food.

Silence, please

In the restaurant you won’t find anything orgasmic, but just silence. Restaurants answer to a simple need, people need to relax. Restaurants, once famous for their cooks, are now known for their soundproof systems and engineering of silence. We arrived just now at the table, a white cube with burgundy edges. The chairs are embedded inside the table and the man whose feet I protect from cold pulls one out for the girl in blue standing at his side. Such a gentleman. Then , silently and with stylishness, he pull the second chair out.

Il menu

All the furniture is made in Japan, and it doesn’t produce any sound (not noticeable by human ears, at least). As soon as they find a comfortable position, they silently smile at each other. Without any awkwardness, because here silence isn’t a gift, you’re paying good money for it.

Conversations choices

On top of the smooth table surface there are two round white and blue cardboards. Opening them, they discover the menus. They don’t have much choice, but still a restaurant needs menus. A menu of possibilities of communication in silence. You can choose between a pencil or a small keyboard, otherwise a bubble. For whom among you that never crossed the entrance of restaurants, it’s better to explain the menu. With a pen you can write your own conversation on a tablet in front of you and your conversation partner can decide to read it or listen to it.

Bubble!

Pen is not so fashionable nowadays, though. It’s for nostalgic, the kind of people which like to listen the music with a record player or that spend a huge amount of money for old clothes with more holes than a house in the forest. The second method, the most common, is the keyboard. Everyone at the table can interact with each other simply pressing on the letter keys. Here, as before, is your personal choice if you like to listen or read it. The number of people connected in a table most of the time influence the decision. Anyways people don’t speak a lot, in general. Usually they choose a restaurant to avoid the chaos and find a quite place where rest the mind in silence, away from advertisement and confusion.

The idea

That said, the man with fashionable moustache and the woman in blue finally agree on the third choice, the less economic in restaurants. Also, they probably don’t know what bubble stands for. In brief B.U.B.B.L.E. is the creator of the system everyone nowadays calls bubble. Yes you know how proud are aristocrats of their heraldic family name, and the Baron wasn’t any different. We were at the down of civilisation as we know it nowadays, a time in which hordes of ravenous noses occupy restaurant to eat and chat. Well, they sat having conversations with distant communities, with crowds sitting thousands of kilometres away. No one really cared about who they have in front. Actually, they didn’t even fully understand where they were seated. Then, at the end of the evening, three selfies and three pictures of the dishes on the table gave the idea to the Baron.

Presence- absence
The restaurant- the woman in blue
The restaurant

B. had then his clever idea: he began to register the messages people were sending with their phones, plus the small chat exchanged in the restaurants and created a new original way to communicate. This new method has been chosen by the couple, tonight.

Be neutral, floating

Bubble inspired the idea of a modern restaurant: a port in which small silent boats don’t have to sail, but just to float. Without beating about the bush, here you can have conversations with distant people while entertaining small chat with the person in front. No conversation is a real communication exchange. Everyone is a neutral actor in a plot in which they’re not even performing any kind of role. However, they can show what they really are without fear: audience.


Which voice?

They’re choosing some phrases to start a conversation, then. Which is not simple either, between million possible choices. Even to choose the voice the other will listen doesn’t seem to be simple, either. Usually the recommendation is to choose a recognisable voice, like a famous actor voice or a TV presenter one. Today they decide for neutral voices, almost synthesised, robotic. So the pointed- moustache- man with mustard colour jacket click for first and the phrase passing rapidly through cables arrives to the woman in front of him

how are you today?

Chosen between other options, as

such a fresh design, your dress

and

this place is really nice, I’ve never been here before

The blue figure smile, as if that words were chosen only for her, as if that voice was real. Paraphrasing Newton, for every dumb question, there is an equal and opposite answer. Most of the cases, mediocrity follows mediocrity. The conversation continues then, not going up or down, but in a flat way: as if a child were pulling a marble- conversation through a table- continuum with the sole force of the air blowing from his mouth. Conversations about weather followed by taxes, then obviously souls and then abruptly they enter the kingdom of personal. The child that was blowing on the marble now is strong wind, is Mistral, moving even the hairs from the face of the woman, nervously

How did you start selling souls? What pushed you through it? Obviously your father support your decision

The question drop in the silence of the now crowded restaurant: the magic thread which links frozen emotions cut only by fastidious coughing from some elderly people. Is a bubble, almost automatic question, apparently harmless. And yet, the left leg start moving, anxious. No one apart this pair of shoes could notice that her right foot was moving nervously from the very beginning. As in a Freud iceberg, this white cube cuts in two their smily relaxed heads on one side and nervous feet and legs on the other. He slightly opens his arms, as a good actor should do, and sustains her firm gaze with a smile. A Monna Lisa smile, let’s say. Unintelligible, a bit dark, but comforting at the same time

Oh obviously my father and my granpa helped me out a lot, in order to let me be what I’m now

We can see now the same person, usually unwilling to speak outside the office time, which feels himself at ease thanks to bubble. The magic part of restaurants. Don’t judge him, it’s like asking a woodworker to cut some wood on Sunday. So

But to be a dealer of souls was my biggest dream. I always wanted to be a dealer, the best

Well I think you appeared to be perfectly right. The boss cannot stop speaking about you

The leg suddenly stop trembling, giving me a chance to rest a bit. Think about that, next time you move nervously your legs. Down there there would be shoes, suffering. It’s true, we don’t have a stomach and we don’t have any idea how to vomit, but still we can feel the soulsickness. Then

I’m really happy to listen that from you. Coming from your mouth seems an happy reality

Really, people spend money to sit and use words written by other people. And such artificial, nonsense, then! It’s something absolutely fascinating. It seems to me as robots instructed by an actress in a South American soap opera. The silence following the last sentence is the silence they’ve choses at the beginning. Absolute silence, in which facial expressions and desires mix together hiding the reality. The truth is over all the button they can press or words they can choose. All this speaking is exhausting and the restaurant is the last place in which you can find a snack. Food makes noise. So then the hunger seems leading them to a decision, finally, my place or your place? Your place. Better play at home the first time, think the head over blue shoes. It seems a good point, especially if then you want to do something that needs a shower.

–What is this story about?–

— And next week: The Boss–

This story will be published once per week only, with all rights reserved for the story and its translations by Flyingstories.org and in the person of Daniele Frau.

All the graphics are handmade and designed with different techniques by Gabriele Manca, DMQ productions, who reserves all rights. 

All English articles published in Souls (alive) proofread by Elisabeth Corcoran

Daniele Frau

Daniele Frau is a translator and content writer living in Dubai and coming from an amazing Italian island, Sardinia.

2 thoughts on “The restaurant

AndyPosted on  12:28 pm - Jan 22, 2019

A restaurant in which no one is speaking? That’s awesome! And I’m learning some Italian, thanks!
Andy

Leave your message

error: Content is protected !!