Umami (Ellie Gordon)

A man in a racing jacket sits at the sushi belt while another man, vest and windsor knot–sleeves rolled up–takes the next seat. Racing Jacket debates on the tamago nigiri and decides he wants it the moment Windsor receives it. He dips the sweet egg in soy sauce and lifts it dripping to his lips. Windsor Knot notices Racing Jacket staring eagerly. The stranger nods in greeting, and the other smiles as he chews. This goes on for some time with ahi, salmon, octopus, shrimp. Everything one wants but doesn’t get is exactly what the other wants and gets. Nevertheless, it’s communion. Unnoticed by these two, I sit transfixed by it. I sip the dregs of cooled sake, pay my tab, and return home alone–hungry and fulfilled. 


Ellie Gordon is a nonbinary trans writer living in Washington state. Their work is featured/forthcoming with Complete Sentence, Hobart After Dark, Daily Drunk Mag, Wondrous Real Magazine, and others. They tweet at @autonomousbagel.