I had lunch at the coffee shop I sometimes eat at yesterday. They're just down the street from my eye doctor and my kidney specialist, so I stop by there sometimes. I actually started going there when I was doing physical therapy earlier this year. Seems so long ago.
Anyway, I often sit at the back counter where the loser customers hang out. Sometimes you overhear some fascinating things. As the snowbirds go back to whatever hellhole they came from and the college kids open their textbooks for the first time as they're starting final exams, the place is all but deserted. Since there aren't many customers to talk about, I don't get to overhear what the severs think about them. I still wonder what they say about me.
My favorite server quit and left. We had some interesting conversations. I miss her. But it is a high turnover business--amazingly high turnover. I thought the hotels I used to work at were bad--nothing like the restaurant biz. Old timers are measured in months, not years of employment. One common thread is low wages. People just don't earn enough so it's hard to fault them for leaving. .
So, to my surprise and delight a very attractive young lady seated herself at the counter. She had a very short skirt on and emerald green eyes. She seemed to know one of the waitresses. I gathered she'd just gone to the Grand Canyon Caverns.
It's not easy for me to talk to total strangers. I'm actually rather shy. But, this was different. "Hi, I couldn't help but overhear you went to the Grand Canyon Caverns."
She looked at me suspiciously.
"I don't mean to bother you. I'm a writer and I'm working on a book on haunted places in Arizona [true]."
She relaxed a little. "Oh?"
"Did you have any unusual experiences there? Strange apparitions, voices, feelings of being watched?" I asked.
"No." She said. "Nothing like that."
"Oh. Well, I've heard of things but never been there so I was curious," I said.
Well, at this point I realized my food was consumed and hers was just arriving. I didn't want to be a pest. Yet, she was absolutely gorgeous even if she was ridiculously young for a geezer like me.
"Are you really a writer?" she asked.
"Yes. I belong to the Horror Writers Association, we do the Stoker Awards, and to Science Fiction Writers of America." I handed her one of my writer business cards and told her I had edited a fiction book of haunted hotel stories that was supposed to come out in about two months, but was working on some non fiction.. At that point I departed and let her eat her lunch. I wanted to stay, but felt like I would be a pest if I remained.
Maybe she'll buy my book. It did give me something to talk to her about, if only briefly. Her waitress friend seemed glad I finally left.