Carrot Juice

I am sitting in a café, reading a book. The book is funny and I am laughing out loud, without realising. I do not usually read funny books. There is something about pre-meditated humour that feels un-funny to me, but I am beginning to think that perhaps I have been wrong about things. There is a couple to my right stroking each other with a slimy tenderness, and two women at the next table sharing ambivalence towards different cities, lovers and ways to cook an egg. A waiter moves towards me, holding a glass filled with thick orange liquid. 

'Sophie?' He gives me a genuine smile and offers me the drink.

For a moment I want so much to be Sophie; to fulfil his expectation of the kind of woman Sophie might be. Sophie, who drinks carrot juice in the afternoons and laughs aloud at her book in public; sophisticated and uncaring. I shake my head at him, gently, and the real Sophie claims her carrot juice with an absent wave of her hand (of course). 

I go back to my book and I laugh at the funny parts, but the spell is broken and I cannot be Sophie any more.



Jessica Andrews