The Waitress

On the way home from the Harrisburg event this past Sunday afternoon, we stopped for lunch, despite much debating over whether we were hungry enough or too full from our room service breakfast which we’d ordered with that card you hang on your hotel doorknob, for between 10:30 and 11 to accordingly compliment our prematurely planned expected later check out time. The prior night was not as rambunctious as we had anticipated and we were both wide awake by 8 Sunday morning and breakfast was not due for, at the least, another 2 ½ hours, an impossible window for me to abide, so we had it sent up earlier.

So, we were hastily greeted and promptly shown our seats. And it was fortunate timing because it’s a shame to not be able to get a seat in the observation car of the Blue Comet at the Clinton Station Diner. After all…

The first thing I noticed was a youngish mother, maybe mid 30’s sitting at a table with her 3 young sons diagonally across from me and behind Ariel. Pretty. She almost looked familiar to me, but not enough for me to be overly concerned about it. What struck me, besides the enormity of her chestal region held surprisingly securely within the flimsy camisole top, was that her attention was dedicated to clicking out a lengthy something or other on her cell phone. It was just me observing, perhaps with a little concern that here she was out with her kids and spending most of her time with her phone. But she was also constantly looking up at them and responding when they needed her. And they were quite well behaved.

I also noticed the older couple, I’d say mid-60’s,  at the table for four directly behind camisole mom and even though he sat in the seat next to his wife rather than across from her, his eyes seemed fixed on the view in front of him. I tried to imagine where they were coming from, or perhaps where they on the way to judging from their mode of dress. He was in a suit and tie and she wore an elegant pant suit. She would lean closer and whisper something and then giggle like a school girl. And try as she might to squeeze ketchup from the bottle, it kept sputtering, sounding all indecent. And she would laugh again. And as she lifted each French fry between thumb and forefinger, her other three fingers were held up stiff and erect. And they sat in silence after a time, her hand caressing the inside of his thigh and she seemed content just looking at him. And when they were leaving, she held on for dear life and hoisted herself into his arms on unsteady legs and off they went.

I also noticed there was no silverware on the table when the waitress brought our food. She promptly apologized and went off to get us some. She was gone for quite a while and finally Ariel got up and walked to the front of the observation car; he had just seen our waitress sit at an empty table with a plate of food for herself. She never brought our utensils. But seeing him approach her, she brought us each a set and in a flash Ariel was up again. His fork was, well, let’s just say, not clean and he went to get a replacement. It happens, I guess.

And then there was the woman who got into her car in the parking lot, sat for a while, backed out of her space, turned around and then backed into the space, only halfway and sat there, half in and half out of the space  for a about five minutes before driving away. And while that was going on there was the bawling kid at the table next us with parents who tried everything to keep him quiet and who were mortified, yet somehow in a state of preparedness, when the kid started throwing things on the floor and his shoes at Ariel. Thankfully this was happening as we were getting ready to leave.

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to write about any of this, other than the myriad possible stories I could concoct revolving around these peoples’ lives. My surroundings just seem to captivate me.  It was the observation car, after all.

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