Between Menus

Jennifer L. Knox

When the waitress finally toddled back to our table, she looked really funny: all the hard edges of her features (and believe me, they could’ve cut glass) had melted down in the time that she’d been gone, like a candle—and she wasn’t bending her knees when she walked, but was she ever smiling. Brrr. She set down some more beers. “How’s everything over here?” she asked without moving her lips. “We ordered an hour ago and all you’ve done is bring us beers we never asked for.” Suddenly my ears were flooded with the sound of bees, and I understood without being told of some nebulous troubles in the kitchen, troubles that I—a corporate lawyer who had never worked in the service industry—could never understand, which made me feel ashamed, but not enough to change my order. “Am I being stubborn or vindictive?” I asked the bees. They didn’t answer my question, but revealed inside my eyes a million more words for what I was being.