It was a woman chewing her soup, and it happened today at lunch. She was sitting just a table away from me, diagonally and perfectly aligned with my right ear. And this is common knowledge, or it should be: I have very poor eyesight, and because of this, it is my belief, theory, whatever that my auditory system has gradually made up for that slack. Call it gift or curse, it remains something to be dealt with and it's not always dealt with in the politest of ways.
If you've seen a cow, or not a cow because that's rude or will be taken as such. If you've seen a Cape Buffalo, which is a vicious creature known for it's flanking ability in battle, then chances are you've seen them eating, something they do continuously. They grind their bottom jaw in a circular motion against their stationary top jaw. Around and around that bottom jaw goes gnawing on the the grip of grass and sticks they have in there, mixing it with their saliva, smacking their fat lips. The technique, renown in bovines, is called chewin' the cud.
This woman was chewing the cud with her soup, grinding it in there, smacking her lips, slurping, burping, clanking the spoon clumsily against her teeth, all of it. I'm thinking about it now. The noises attacked, growing louder with each new spoonful. I wanted to break everything. Instead, I slammed my spoon down on her table because I no longer had use for it. I felt it an appropriate message at the time. Now, I'm seeing the holes in it, realizing how misguided, bizarre it probably was.
After the spoon, I left. No more appetite.
It was tomato soup, if you were wondering. Lugh.