he never told me what he wanted to drink

i put the menu and wine list on a patio table and he sat down and thanked me and i started to walk away.  “oh, hey, do you want something to drink?” i said, spinning around to face him, but when i spun around i slipped and my foot folded in half and i heard something pop.  i grabbed onto the patio cart to keep myself from falling.

“hey are you okay?” he said, looking up from the menu.  i didn’t move and it hurt so i said i guess i’m not okay and he helped me inside.  i couldn’t walk.  they took off my shoe and put ice and heat on my foot and i was crying.

and then i was sitting at a table by myself waiting for my dad to come get me.  everyone else rushed back and forth holding drinks and food and empty plates, waiting on the tables i was supposed to be waiting on.  martha gave me some napkins so i could blow my nose and wipe my eyes.  you were standing nearby.  “hey,” i said, “i’m sorry about the dog water.”

“it’s okay,” you said.  i looked down at my foot.  it was red, and it hurt under the ice.

we went to the doctor’s office, and my dad got me a wheelchair and pushed me into the waiting room.  while we waited i tried wheeling myself around.  it didn’t work.  “i don’t know how to do this,” i said.

“sure you do,” my dad said.  “you took physics.”

“i was good at physics,” i said, turning the wheelchair in an awkward circle.

the lady that x-rayed my foot asked me if there was any possibility that i was pregnant.  “no,” i said.  then i asked her how they would x-ray a really fat guy.  she said their machine wasn’t new or strong enough to x-ray a really fat guy.  they’d have to send him somewhere else.

so my foot probably isn’t broken, they say, but i’m supposed to stay off of it for a week.  i’m on crutches.  if i want to make something to eat i can do it myself, but if i want to actually eat it i have to do it standing up at the kitchen counter, or else someone has to bring it to me.  i live by myself and i make a living bringing people food.  i don’t like needing people to bring me food.  i don’t like needing people.

when my dad came to pick me up from the restaurant you had to help me out to the car.  i was gripping my dad’s arm on one side of me and holding your hand on the other, hopping on one foot in between, and the whole time i was thinking about how disappointing it was that your hand felt exactly the same as it always did.  i was hoping it would feel like dust.


scene:  a family of three — young parents about my age with their five-year-old daughter — and an additional teenaged girl come into the restaurant and sit down at a table for four.

me:  hello, how are you?  can i get you all something to drink?

teenaged girl:  i’ll have a sprite.

me:  okay.  (to the five-year-old) what would you like to drink?

five-year-old:  do you [something unintelligible]?

me:  i’m sorry, what did you say?

her mom:  she said, “do you like anime?”

me:  um, i don’t know.  i guess i never watched much anime.

five-year-old:  do you like [something else unintelligible]?

her dad:  honey, she’s not into anime.  she likes indie rock.

five-year-old:  do you like gorillaz?

me:  yes!

gluteus minimus shellfish

fried oysters at the restaurant come in a flock of six, on a plate with some greens and remoulade sauce.  the size of the oysters we get varies from day to day, and if they’re too small, we’ll give the customer seven or eight to make up for it.  a few weeks ago, a ten-year-old girl at one of my patio tables ordered the fried oysters for dinner.  they came out extra-large, so she cut each one in half before she ate it.  when i went out to check on the table, the girl’s mom waved me over and pointed at the girl’s plate.

mom:  i think there’s something wrong with her oysters.
me:  really?
mom:  yeah.  they all have this greenish stuff in the middle.  see?
me:  oh, wow.
mom:  can you find out what it is?
me:  of course.  let me check with the manager.

i took the plate inside and showed it to the owner, who was managing that day.

me:  one of my tables outside found all this green stuff in their oysters.  see?
him:  oh, that’s the stomach of the oyster.
me:  what?
him:  the stomach of the oyster.  that’s why you should always eat them whole, otherwise you have to see it.
me:  really?
him:  yeah.  tell your table i said never bite into an oyster.
me:  eww.

yesterday, the oysters were really tiny, so tiny that they weren’t going to look good no matter how many there were.  i said as much when rené, one of the cooks, handed me a plate of ten of them.

me:  man, those fried oysters look like ass.
rené:  like what?
me: like nalgas.
rené: don’t say that, you’re gonna make me hungry.
me: eww!