“Pour you another cup?,” the zaftig waitress inquired. The coffee made a circular slosh in the round belly of the service pot as she waited for his reply.
He just wanted to slow down. Why did everything have to be done with such immediacy. And right on cue his phone buzzed again and he took it up off the counter.
“Hey, doll. Let me warm it up for you.” The waitress poured and sauntered off in her own sloshy way down the counter. Mario was beginning to think that his Dad was right about this job. That whole “work from anywhere” schtick meant he should also “work at any time.” Mario thought the old man was out of touch for pitching an office job in a cubicle farm, but maybe there was some benefit to it. It was another text from his boss out on the road. And not even an important text — just a random thought he had over beers with a prospect. Like Mario was just some sort of human note pad.
Mario put the phone in his pocket and looked down the counter. Sitting at the curve about six stools away was the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen. She had a cup of coffee and a huge slice of lemon meringue pie in front of her — untouched — as she wrote with intent in a black, old-school composition notebook. She used a yellow Ticonderoga no.2 pencil and Mario thought he had gone back in time.
The girl had no interest in anything around her as she wrote — she was lost in her own world. A world she was in the midst of creating. Mario was both jealous and curious. He had been to this diner many times but this was the first time he had ever seen her. And then he noticed: she didn’t seem to have a phone, at least not in front of her.
Now he was even more intrigued and used the action of stirring his coffee to make some distracting noise, but she didn’t even look up. He checked to make sure she wasn’t wearing any ear buds and noticed she had tucked her long honey hair behind a perfect pearly ear.
She stopped writing and looked upon her pie with wonder — as if it she had magically willed it there, and Mario saw his chance to make contact. “The pie’s really excellent here,” he said nodding.
She held up her fork, gave him a big smile and said, “You only live once.”