Before I was here I worked in a Greek diner where the best thing on the menu was rice pudding. They put it on the menu for the old people, but I scooped it up in banana boats and ate it at the counter with the regulars. The old men always sat at one end telling Navy stories and leaving food marks on their cups. I have a thing about people’s mouth food so I tried not to look, but you know, you can’t help it when the something you don’t like works like a magnet to your eyes, it just keeps pulling you back.
There was one cool girl waiting tables who had a kid and smoked pot after work and dated some jerk ballet dancer that liked to push her against the wall. She was tougher than he was so she pushed back and he almost broke his leg for loosing his balance near the stairs. Served him right.
The old men at the end of the counter smoked Pal Mals and liked to act real with it. “Hey, Lilly,” Hagerty called to me one day. “Come over here. I want to ask you something.” His bald brother was hunched up coughing out a laugh. That’s when I spilled the orange juice on the annoying little boy who liked to pester me when I was busy, which was all the time.
“What’s that?” I asked. They never got excited about nothing.
“Do you see a bush trimmer, you know, for in the summer when you wear a swimming suit?” Hagerty’s bald brother was still coughing and laughing. Laughing and coughing.
I sized them up real good and poured another cup of decaf trying not to notice the food marks. “Who says I wear a swimming suit?” I said. “Seems to me it’s pretty stupid to get all dressed up just to get wet.”
Well, old Hagerty didn’t know what to say to that and his brother looked about ready to keel over so I left them to it. Wasn’t much after that they found the two of them belly up and buck naked down by the river. Must have been quite an undertow.
Sometimes one thing doesn’t connect up quite right with the other, or if you follow where your writing hand is going it might lead you off the deep end. Thank you to Karen Monroy (Sustainable Prosperity) for suggesting, “Drops of Jupiter in my hair.” The images led me along a cascade of story lines that ended way over there…in the deep end.