Project Placement 2: Busser

Nag Champa, a scent that carries memory.  It’s autumn 1993.  I’m 18, not getting ready to go off for college.

I have a job at Perkins picking up after everyone else.  Friends from school hang out till 4 am choking the smoking section with quotes from Monty Python and Nietzsche, sucking down coffee creamers and bending spoons into neckties.  I talk too loud, give myself away to customers who shouldn’t be listening, turn red, laugh it off.

The manager, just two years ahead of me in school and locally famous for organizing punk shows at TT’s Hotspot calls me over to where he’s standing on a ladder.  He unscrews a light bulb, hands it down, “Fix this, would ya?” he says.

At 7 am I leave carrying an overburdened bag stuffed with a uniform and waitstaff training books.  I walk along Milton Avenue.  It’s the weekend, traffic is light.  A cop car pulls ahead of me into the parking lot of the KFC.  He demands my ID.  I think, only in Janesville do you get pulled over for walking.  “You fit the description of a runaway,” he says.


About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
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