“Appetite” by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

This slightly quirky short story starts out with a cook, who apparently has trouble with grilled cheese sandwiches, asking his restaurant manager for a raise. He’s denied. So, here he is ina meaningless, unfulfilling job, but he’s not searching for anything else either.

When had I crossed that line from boy to man? Whenever it was, the line had been so faint, so subtle, that I had missed it entirely. Maybe if I had been paying closer attention things might have turned out differently for me.

A new waitress starts working at the restaurant. She’s skinny as a rail and he assumes anorexic, but he’s attracted to her nonetheless. It’s questionable whether he’ll ever work himself up to talking to her though. He’s not ambitious, to say the least.

I didn’t love this story and I’m not sure how to feel after reading it. Is it sad? Is it hopeful that these two individuals, neither of whom quite seem to fit, have found each other? And it’s raining in the story, has been for days, which adds to the gloominess, but in a way to the hope too. Tomorrow or the next day, the rain is supposed to stop.

And then there’s the title – Appetite. What are the characters hungry for?

If you’re interested in reading the story, it can be found at The New Yorker. John hosts Short Story Monday at The Book Mine Set. Head over there to see what he and others have been reading.


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