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Stephanie Nelson's flimsy white plastic spoon causes her daily yogurt, which today is frozen and peach, to softly crunch.
There are different voices, creating conversation, overlapping at the edges and louder in the middle. The harmonizing whispers are hushed when the stories are not about oneself. Brief moments of silence begin and end. Tones become sad and worried when pairs converse of more serious matters.
The rarely noticed white noises of the pop machines move their hums to where I sit.
In the distance, a variety of squeaks and creaks travels to my ears.
There is not one rustling potato chip bag, but many.
As the food is consumed and the mouths fill, the muffled words continue to spew.
A sigh is merely the aftermath of a deep intake of breath.
Stephanie's spoon scrapes against the sides of the slightly sturdier cup, and the broad scratching becomes increasingly frequent as the pastel dairy product vanishes from sight.
Exclamations are cancelled out by yawns. The laughter spreads like the consumption, splattered with some singing and humming as well.
To the left of my ear, Katie's Diet Coke sharply cracks as it is being opening.
The light tapping of fingernails on the tabletop is combined with the mindless tossing of a dark chocolate foil wrapper. This produces flashing of nails in a metallic coral, more pink than orange; salmon fingers.
More flashes of shiny purple metallic nail polish produce a highlight bigger than the true color and matte shadow combined, but there is no glitter.
The smooth tabletop beneath me is softly textured for a hint of friction. It is speckled like a bird's egg, with a base of light grey. Superimposed are watered down cadet blue, almost white but not quite, and a medium dark grey for contrast. One is reminded of art class, and the effects achieved when watercolor meets the bristles of a toothbrush. The size of dotting is that of a ballpoint pen, with the larger specks perhaps graduating to a felt pen.
Vibrations travel through the table, coming from a scrawling blue PaperMate a few feet away.
A restless knee nudges underneath the table, producing a metallic clang.
The noticeable indent of a calf muscle is felt underneath the sleek, soft, subtly dark brown of nylon tights.
Awkwardly shaped ear buds provide the soft rubber to plug my ears against the outside noise, smothering but not silencing. This atmospheric and catchy moment in time replaces the chatter.
This cafeteria saturated with the smells of every imaginable food over time, has no distinct scent to call its own.
A lone morsel of flavored sugar in the form of a lime green Skittle looks up at me from the ground below, and teases my taste buds with what they will not be satisfied.