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  • Nan Harvey

A Moment

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

She was behind the counter on the night shift at the truck stop, White’s off of 83. I’ve never stopped in there before and been by a million times. I went in this time to get coffee and get my body to stop vibrating and she waited on me. She had on one of those lousy pink uniforms with the skirt down to the middle of the knees but she had hiked it up or something so you could get a look at those long legs. I think she must’ve been wearing that sup-hose stuff to make her skin look kind of white like a nurse or an old lady but it didn’t fool me.

He walks in like magic around three when it’s usually kind of slow and I feel him before see him, different from the rest he gently moves the dirty plates to the edge and I watch him watch me from under deep brows black and black hair and big hands out of a loose shirt and hair at a thick throat and I notice his heartbeat. Magic.

She came over to my seat and instead of just writing it down that I wanted coffee she really looked at me. I mean like she looked into my eyes. Not a come on but something. She wasn’t really good-looking not like she’d stand out in a crowd or I’d pick her if I could see only her legs or something but the way she looked at me I decided not to get my coffee to go and thought I’d get apple pie too with ice cream. She smiled and god, for a waitress you’d think she knew everything the way she smiled. It was like she was kind of laughing that she was waiting on all these jokers but she didn’t really hate it, she just could think of a million other things she’d rather be doing I could tell that.

Eggs, greasy with toast and hash browns, thousands of plastic jellies with peel off foil tops sticking to the counter and grease under soft nails and hands that smell like dirty dish rags and he wants coffee and then pie smile with ice cream grin he’s letting me in on a secret or joke and I can’t help but laugh back.

She had to lean down to get a coffee cup and I saw everybody at the counter kind of glance over to see if they could catch a shot of her underwear or maybe see something down that opening in the uniform at her throat. She wasn’t really too fast but none of these guys minded. Some of these fat-ass drivers were hanging around smoking another cigarette and having another cup just to see her moving around I bet.

They usually stayed and stayed and then left almost no tip, did they think seeing them was such a treat, tip enough? If there were another waitress on the late shift the attention could’ve been shared but there wasn’t and I usually wanted to get out of here but then in he comes like magic.

She brought my coffee over and pie and I noticed she had these flashy red nails and I said they were pretty hot and she looked at me and said yeah or something. She said they didn’t like the waitresses to wear polish or jewelry unless it was wedding bands and I noticed she didn’t have one and they had to wear their hair in these dime store hair nets. Then I saw all this wispy brown hair she had up in this hair net thing on her head and there were some pieces coming out around her face and around her neck in the back. It looked real good but I couldn’t tell her so. I kind of think she knew I thought so and she kind of smiled at me more with her eyes than with her mouth but her mouth was smiling too.

Different, he’s got a secret he won’t share I keep filling his coffee hoping he won’t go feeling his eyes, on display behind the counter, wanting to walk from behind this wall and take his hand touch his face look into his eyes until I got tired and I knew I wouldn’t ever.

I couldn’t make myself go. I kept having more and more coffee until my kidneys hurt from caffeine and not the bouncing cab. I know my schedule was getting shot to hell but I figured I could make it up somehow. I had some pills and plenty of coffee in my stomach and I could always pick up a hitchhiker.

Then I got this crazy idea. I thought about asking this waitress to go with me. I could just see her taking off her apron and climbing into the cab. Taking her hair net off and letting that wispy hair fly around her face and hearing her deep laugh and the idea really turned me on.

Escape, escape into fantasy with my crazy dream, I saw myself free and I saw myself safe and I liked it and I imagined a friend and laughing with him and I smiled secretly at my dream.

For a moment, I went kind of crazy, a too-little-sleep kind of crazy I guess. Why would she want to go with me?

I was going to have to be going. So I got up and she came over with the check and I noticed then that she was pretty tall maybe just an inch or so shorter than me but real skinny. Like it would’ve been nothing to wrap my hand around her wrist twice. And she wanted to go. She wanted to go with me but she had to take some scrambled eggs over to this guy on the other side of the counter. I paid the cashier and watched her out of the corner of my eye and I could tell she knew I was looking at her and she took this long pause and smiled slow. And then, I put twice as much down for the tip as I had paid for pie and coffee and got in my truck and drove it hard as hell out of there.



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