"But what did you do from eleven to three? You can't eat lunch for four hours."
Biddy answered me somewhat scornfully: "I ate breakfast, not lunch, and I certainly ate it for four hours: they understand things like that in a decent restaurant. I drank coffee, with lots of hot milk in it, and ate Viennese tarts and--and things."
"Things meaning salami and sweet pickles?"
She looked dreamily past me. I said nothing, and finally she went on: "I sat by the cake counter and watched people in the mirror. They were so queer--so pleasant at eleven when everybody else in town was rushing around--and especially down there on Spring. And they spoke every language and dipped their tarts in their coffee-glasses.
"Yes," Biddy exclaimed, "my coffee was in a glass! It was wonderful!"
...Her face was vivid, and in her dark eyes was a quiet awareness I had never seen before. She concluded, almost fiercely: "Four hours I sat there, watching them dip their bread in coffee-glasses and thinking. And I'll do it again! It was--it was just what I needed."
--M.F.K. FIsher, "On Dining Alone" from Serve it Forth