Friday, September 19, 2008

The Waitress

Tanya was folding napkins, preparing for the night's dinner rush at the little diner she was working at. She stopped for a moment to light a cigarette, watching the blue smoke dance with the light pouring through the large windows that lined the walls. She thought about a life in California. She thought about walking out of work tonight, getting in her car and just driving west until she saw the ocean.

Just then, the bell on the door rang as it swung open, snapping Tanya out of her half-dream. Roy walked in and sat at the counter.

"What can I get ya', Roy?"
"Allright! How's everything, Roy?"

Tanya grabbed a cup, a saucer and the coffee pot. She placed the cup on the saucer in front of Roy and filled his cup. Then, she grabbed a handful of creamers and tossed them next to his cup. They fell sloppily across the counter.

"Ahh, not bad Tanya. Not great but not bad. Same ol' shit, ya' know?"
"I know."

Tanya put the coffee pot back on the burner and returned to her cigarette and napkin folding duties. She heard the double doors to the kitchen swing open behind her. A hand slid across her stomach from behind, down her side and then down to squeeze her ass. Mich whispered in her ear, "Hey, baby." She could feel his breath on her ear, his hand still resting on her ass. She slapped it away.

"Not now, Mich."

Mich walked back into the kitchen with a huff, like a little boy who hadn't gotten a cookie.

Tanya went about folding her napkins and smoking her cigarettes, refilling coffee cups and smacking away Mich's grabbing hands. At the end of her shift, she stopped at the gas station to fill up her tank.

"Going on vacation, Tanya?" Joe asked, pointing at the suitcases in her backseat.

Joe was always working when she stopped for gas. He was a sweet old man, always wearing the same, beat up, old cardigan; always smoking the same cigarette; the cherry always at the edge of his fingers, nearly at the filter, so close she didn't understand how his fingertips didn't get burned.

"Yeah, just takin' a little trip, Joe."
"Well, have a good time. See you in a few days."

She thought about Joe. Him walking into his house and kissing his wife's sleeping forehead at the end of the night. She'd like to have that some day.

"See you around, Joe."

She pulled out onto the road and rubbed a tear away from her eye. Everything was about to get better.

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