It is cool on the first real fall evening of the year. Couples mingle on the patio unworried that they might stench of the sweat of July in Dallas. All thoughts of cholera are banished. Debonaire waiters in dark suits and ties perform their unscripted ritual of delivering food to an apprehensive hoard. Sometimes in the night we hear the buzzing of mosquitoes, also contemplating their evening repast. Will it be the scrawny bicep of an ageing dowager or the juicy fullness of a young twenty something?
Appetizer is served. A hundred shrimp die. Few will realize how appreciative their conquerors were of their succulence, their insouciant brininess. Their refusal to subdue in the face of chiles combined as a sauce might be noted in dispatches in a more honorable era.
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