"Green Cookie"               by Stace

 I waitress at Salendo's Restaurant, the best restaurant in this city that will hire me without experience-

 And I've been here for three years.  I tried to go to college twice, but I dropped out both times.  Why did I do it?  

 I can't even remember.  It was complicated.

 I am 23, my rent is barely paid, I have two dogs and a cat, and the only people I talk to each day are my customers-  And I'm lucky if I don't catch them with food in their mouth- that ruins their day and mine.   Unfortunately, I catch forty people a day with egg, sausage, beef, or cheesecake in their mouth.  About the tip they leave?  Depends if they are nice- they look past it.

 I hate wearing this uniform, and I hate wearing darn ponytails.  I feel old, but I also feel young.

 I've been doing this for so long, it all feels like one day.

 Why do people eat?  I wish they'd stop eating, they're so annoying.

 I've drained any chance of fantasizing about an amazing future anymore.  The landscape is a blank.  My dreams are flat.  I have no clue where they went.  Exhausted themselves out, pacing back and forth waiting for me to activate them, perhaps.

  My energy is a little bizarre lately, well as of the past 3 years- 7 years actually.

  My sexual desire is all mangled in my stomach.  Somewhere, I think I am turned on by my digestion process- I can't tell, half the time my thoughts are flatlining- once in awhile a spike of awareness will studder along.

  Being a waitress, I write everything down.  They invented the notepad for me.

  "Ma'am, could you get me some coffee?"

 Okay mister screwballs.

 "Would you like some cream with that?"

 "No thanks, but I would like some sugar."

 "Okay", I smile, and it is so forced I feel another eight hour workout of phony reps coming on.

 "Here you go sir."

 "Okay, and, could I ask  you a question?"

 "Yes, sure, go ahead."

  He looks at me from the coffee, sitting in a booth chair, my height, with a glass table in front of him.

 His appearance is very dominating, and his brown eyes are rimmed with a tired, but earned dignity.  He has lines on his face from smiling and age, and he holds his coffee tightly with two hands, like he has been through recent stress.

 The entire room is maroon ,tinted with sweet scents ofvanilla and red oak, emersing my customers and I with subtle romantic yearnings.

 His lips are soft, his words flow out like softly pushed rose peddles.

 His hair is brown and greying, and although there were dozens of customers with permanent neediness from me, he was the only one I now noticed.

 "Could you bring me my sugar?"

 "I already brought it to you sir."

 "Oh, okay, I'm sorry."

 "That's alright, don't worry about it."

 People are so weird, he seemed so distracted by me.

 He is squirming, he is a man- oh, 35 at least!  And he seems to be enjoying more than his coffee.  Maybe- the nice view out the window.

 Or the soft cushion under his chair.