dirty fork

This is her, like, all-time favourite eating establishment. He found that out the hard way.  On one of their first visits, he made the mistake of calling it a “greasy spoon.”

She did not like that.

At all.

She explained that she had been going there since high school and that it was a wonderful restaurant, run by lovely people, and that he was, in fact, a jackass.

He replied by calling it a “grimy spork.”

She sadfaced him.

He apologized.

But she continued to give him the chilly shoulder throughout dinner and dessert, and there was no warming up until he bought her an ice cream on the way home.

This is her favourite table.  He knows this because it’s right up against the front window and she loves to people watch.  Stalkers would say, “Damn, girl, you are focused.” You know, if they weren’t too busy doing their thing.

He is less… interested.

She frequently calls him self-absorbed.

He invariably replies with “Sorry, did you say something?”

And then she grrrrrs.

So they’re sitting at her favourite table in her favourite restaurant, even though it was his turn to pick.

That’s just how things go with these two.

I mean, he doesn’t hate the place. He likes the neon signs in the windows.  He likes the comfy seats.  He likes the silly, cheesy names they give the sandwiches.

He likes how much the place makes her smile.

A waitress brings their food.  A new waitress.  It takes her a second to remember who ordered what.  He ordered the Don’t Hit Baby Seals With a Club Sandwich.  But eventually the plates land in the right places.  The waitress puts her hand on his shoulder, while asking if that would be everything for now.  The hand lingers.  He doesn’t notice.

She does.

As soon as the waitress is nearing being out of earshot, “What was that?”

“What was what?” he asks.

“She was mauling you.”

“Come on.”

“Come nothing,” she turned to see if the waitress was still around.

“It’s her job.  She wants a big tip.”

“The tip of what?” she asks.


“I’m just saying,” she sort of pouts.

“Can we eat, silly girl?”



They eat in silence.

For 3.2 seconds.

“That chick’s vagina has seen more rubber than a Nascar oval.  And that is all I’m saying.”

She goes back to eating.

He shakes his head.

The food tastes the same as it always does.

They chat.

She does most of her talking with a mouthful.

At one point, he passes her his napkin, to wipe something off her lip.  She takes it, removes the offending food morsel, and doesn’t miss a beat in the story she’s telling about work and dropping a pickle from her hamburger down her cleavage in front of her whole office.

She laughs at his story, while swiping a fork full of coleslaw off of his plate,  about accidentally sending a flirty email ages ago to his androgynously named boss.

Even though he’s told her before.

But his “the throbbing I was referring to was the marketplace’s attempts at correction and–” explanation got her every single time.

They argue about Twitter.


She loves it.  And she pretty much chronicles everything she does or eats or thinks during her day.

He hates it.  She made him sign up.  He basically tweets one nonsensical thing a day.  Like, “If loving you is wrong, why do I have all of these video files?”

He’s his own favourite audience.

But she’s clearly also a fan.

The waitress brings their desserts.  Staring at him pretty hard.

He thanks her.

She gives her the stink eye.

Actually both women exchange unkind glances.

He enjoys the first bite of his Boston cream pie too much, so she makes him switch.

They finish.  She asks to borrow a pen.

“What makes you think I have a pen?”

She stares.

He fishes one out of his inside jacket pocket.

“Thanks, Amish boy.”

She doodles on a napkin.

He steals the last bite of dessert she always leaves on her plate.  She’s explained why before.  Some (unnecessary) diet psychology.  He’s never really understood it.

She continues to doodle, but looks up to sneak a peek at him.

She catches him.

She catches him singing along to the forgettable teenager-adored song playing on the speakers.

She is delighted.

He is oblivious.

A car horn honks.  Loudly.  Repeatedly.

She looks out the window.

“It’s the boyfriend,” she sighs.

“Patient as ever.”

“You know it.”

“Tell him the Yankees suck.”

“Will do.”

They stand up.

They hug.

“Are you going to ask out the waitress?” she asks.

He smirkshrugs.

“I hate you,” she grrrrs.

“You don’t.”

She hugs him again.


“See ya.”

She leaves.

He sits back down.

He picks up her napkindoodle.

It’s a picture of him.  Very well-drawn.  With a thought bubble saying, “I’m a dork!”

He folds it and slips it into his pocket.

The waitress returns with a big smile and hands him the bill.

“All alone?”

“Very much so,” he replies, pulling cash out of his pocket.

The waitress gives him an unmistakable look.

He hands her the cash — which includes a generous tip.

The waitress lingers.  Smiling with faux-shyness.

He smiles back.

“Have a good night,” he says.

Not the reply the waitress expects.

He stands up, grabs his coat and walks by her.

He pulls his coat on in the doorway.

He buttons it up all the way, and turns his collar up.

He steps out into the windy, cold night.

5 thoughts on “dirty fork

  1. This had me so intrigued I couldn’t stop reading…in my car….while driving.

    I think I relate to the man in your story…now I’m gonna get nothing done today because I’ll be analyzing this. :)

  2. Cute story and well written

    As a waitress I always make more eye-contact/chat with the girl then the guy. If the girl is happy, the dude is happy = bigger tip no matter who pays.


  3. I want more, Peter. MORE. Who are these people? More specifically, who are they to each other? And why the fuck doesn’t he like to people watch?

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