Friday, August 28, 2009


She chatted up a patron old enough to be her father, discussing "The White Stripes" and explaining to him the bands popularity and her love of them. Her 1950's retro garb was illuminated by the florescent lights bouncing off the Formica counter tops. She was cute, maybe 17, her face still holding on to that last bit of baby fat as she blossomed into a young woman. She took my drink order and got it wrong but I couldn't get mad. I instantly fell in like with her. She stirred up memories of my past and our similar experiences.

Verging on 9 p.m. her shift came to a close. She walked past me, knowing I was someone else's problem now. Entering the bathroom, she disappeared and I went back to my book. Five minutes later she emerged, a butterfly from her pressed linen cocoon. She wore tight jeans, considered fashionable from the eyes of the high school crowd, those fighting for a letter to accompany their generation. Her hair had fallen from the bun do she chose to wear for her shift. It now dangled awkwardly, attempting to touch her shoulders but coming up just short.

Her pace quickened and I saw why. A blond haired boy sat at the front counter waiting. Not what I would first have suspected as her type, he kept his hair short, almost to the scalp, and appeared athletic. Memories flooded into me of a time where I would visit the restaurant where my first girlfriend worked. Finding a table in the back and hoping she would make the rounds to wipe stale bleach water on the tables so I could catch a smile, or a kiss if the manager wasn't around.

I didn't see her exchange with the boy. It was clear they were to leave together. Why the longing for a simpler time entered my heart I don't know but I felt a great deal of envy for these young love birds. At 26, I spent the night with a burger and a book while their night was just beginning. They have all the time in the world, or at least until curfew, and can be content sharing a drink in a car and discussing the mundane as if it were interesting.

I went back to my book and looked up one last time and discovered she had gone. The end of her shift meant the beginning of her night. Oh the possibilities.

5 Ripples in the pond:

Simon said...

Reading this has made me realise I am actually beyond feeling nostalgic. At the age of 51 I feel more paternal than jealous – and somewhat relieved that my teenage years are long in the past.

Carrie said...

At a loss for something articulate to say: I like this.

It's vivid. It's a story that breathes and lives all on its own, without too much explanation or fanciness, and I like it. :)

Trinity said...

Wow, thanks Carrie. I appreciate that.

Simon, you should never be relieved to have your teenage years behind you. Those are the best years to emmulate because they are so full of promise and hope.

Girl Interrupted said...

Aw! You should write more of this kind of post, you're good at it, I felt like I was sitting right there with you. And as a 29 year old I totally recognised and related to your emotions.

Good stuff :)

Erin said...

Very poignant of you, sir.

I miss the posts that have nothing to do with The Book.