Xavier Pere

He cooked at night because he liked the quiet. Dishes like lagoons, slopping rich with gravy and excess; in the next hour, a single, perfect square inch of something, and the waitresses whispering hush, so diners might concentrate on mouth and tongue. There was privacy, and calm, and a tinkling, two-woman band in the corner: guitar and a single drum, almost imperceptible, like insects he’d let indoors. He only hired musicians who were lovers. It affected the sound.