found drama

get oblique

dream.20120913: localvore

by Rob Friesel

You’re to meet friends at a new and small and hole-in-the-wall-ish farm-to-table restaurant. It has just opened. Word has gotten around about it, but it’s not so crazy yet that you need to make a reservation. You arrive a bit after your friends and take a seat at the far end of the table. The table is effectively three picnic tables shoved together end-to-end. (The tables are even that kind of weathered grey that wood tables get after a few years exposed to the elements.) Their food is arriving when you sit down, and without looking at the menu you order “something–surprise me”. (The server is a cute brunette, but a bit smug.) You try to join in the conversation, but it’s hard from the far end of the table. (She’s supposed to be meeting you here with your kids, but she’s not here yet; you keep looking over your shoulder.) The server brings your meal; there’s less of it than you think, but it smells delicious. She also sets down two glasses and a bottle of beer. You want to pour the beer into one of the glasses, but both of them are filled with sparkling water. You flag down the server to trade one of the full glasses for another one, or to at least bring you an empty glass. She’s cheerful about it, but also gives you a wink as though you’ve missed some subtle point of the restaurant’s etiquette. (As though to say: your secret is safe with me.) She arrives (with your kids) right about the time that you’re finishing up your meal. (Who else do we know here? she asks.) You felt rushed to begin with, and you feel more rushed now as your friends are cashing out and gathering up their things to leave. The server brings your bill. At first you think it’s almost comically low. $7 and change. But then you see that she hasn’t put the S through the bar (bars?) of the $ Is it $17 and change? or $117 and change? When she hands the $20 bill back to you as not enough, you know for sure. No AmEx either, she explains, handing back the card. Now you’re juggling the entire contents of your wallet. Meanwhile, your friends are starting to file out.

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night; weekend homebrewer. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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