Scene 2 (see March 6 for the beginning here)
What comes next?
From Kevin who slices here:
“She heard the bell ring in the room behind the counter. The grill. The ancient telephone hanging off the wall. A shuffling noise, and then a rough voice barking back.
“Yes. Ten minutes.”
And then, after a pause, the sound of the grill, sizzling. The girl thumbs the menu again, looking at the door.
A lifetime to wonder. She wanders over to the window. Her toes wiggle in her summer sandals. Snow is now falling. She’s not worried. The cold never bothered her. Ever. She could walk barefoot in a squall, her grandmother used to say. When you never know winter, and suddenly find winter, you never want to lose it. That’s what she thinks. Her grandmother argued otherwise, calling winter’s snow nothing more than another wall put in their way to a better life.
More sounds from the grill. Singing. He’s singing that song again, in Spanish, about going home to Mexico. She likes the melody but not the message. She won’t be going back home to Mexico, although she misses her Mama and her sister.
“Order up!” and she’s back to the counter, keeping one eye on the shadow on the door while reaching out for the bag from grill.
“Gracias,” she says, as if it were food for her. She can’t help being polite. She’s grateful for the job.”
The sign in the window says “Joe’s Diner, Est. 1961. It’s a corner lot so customers see 1st Street and the mercantile store from the window on the left. On the right, the view includes Sam’s Barber Shop and the hotel on Main Street.
She looks for the customer while tapping her foot on the floor. She wonders whose dog is lounging on the sidewalk – the only living being in sight. No traffic. No vehicles. Not even a bike. She sits up and counts the distant church bells as they ring once, twice, three times.
Bag in her hand, faint grease stains forming, she steps out onto the sidewalk. Old school. No drive up window at the diner so it’s “Curb Service”.
Cars and trucks rush down Main Street. Some stop at the barber shop and others slow and pull into spaces in front of the diner. She can hear car doors slam and chattering children regale family members with the events of the day.
She walks over to the blue Pontiac Bonneville and trades the bag for a $5.00 bill, a muttered “Keep the change” and follows customers into the diner.
Now, where would you go if you were the author?
What do you know today that you didn’t know yesterday?
What do you still need to know?
Is it time for . . . THE PROBLEM?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.