The server at the deli near our house does funny things with his lips when he’s concentrating. They are very thin lips that don’t lend to puckering very well, yet he puckers them up over and over when he isn’t watching himself. He puckered his lips up at least ten times while he filled Mike’s side dish cup with pasta salad.
He is very tan and has thinning hair on the top. His hairline isn’t receding; it’s just that his hair is so thin that I can see his tanned head through the gelled hair. I wondered to myself whether he had hair plugs and what he thought about Rogaine. He is about my height, which makes him short, for a man. He looks physically fit and he was wearing one of those “man necklaces” that are so popular right now.
He flirted with the girl in line before us. Her name was Rachel, but he didn’t call her name from the counter when her sandwich was ready. He brought it right to her. She was shorter than I am and had dirty blonde hair. She smiled back at him when she handed back the pen with a spoon taped to it.
While Mike and I argued the benefits and disadvantages of Gandolfo’s compared to Subway and Quizno’s, he emptied the garbage cans. Both the cans were only half full and not in need of changing, so I could only think that he was doing it in an attempt to attract Rachel’s attention. He hoisted the bags of garbage over his shoulder, displaying his arms, but she didn’t notice. She was busy talking to her friend at the table and had placed her chair so she could watch the register instead of the garbage cans, but he wasn’t at the register anymore.
For a split second, I imagined that the smelly and rancid liquid in the bottom of those garbage bags escaped from those bags, drenching him in its garbage goodness. I imagined the embarrassment and humiliation that he would feel when Rachel finally did notice him drenched in the melted ice and fetid pop. I said a private thank you to the company that designed their trash bags that he didn’t have to live in that humiliation. She didn’t notice his strong arms carrying the garbage out, but she also wouldn’t have seen his pop drenched cargo pants.
Mike and I left before Rachel and her friend were finished talking. The two girls were lingering over their drinks. I am imagining to myself that there was a lull in the traffic right after Mike and I left. The server walked over to Rachel and asked her for her phone number and if she would like to go out with him sometime. I am imagining that he didn’t wait one minute to ask her out after we left. How embarrassing could it be to ask her out and fail when he averted the spilled garbage bag disaster?