I think in a past life I was an Amazon warrior, but now I waitress at Waffle House. I have to wear an apron with my name embroidered on the lapel and an ugly brown bonnet, that's really a visor. I try to slip it off when Bubba, my manager, is in the back, but usually he's watching me through the one way mirror. When the phone rings I have to say “This is Valley. Thank you for calling your friendly Waffle House.” It makes me gag. Mostly I wait on dead beat dads and the widowed old people of the city who want to look at another human face after they've finished their meal.
This place never stops, but there are some dead zones, like between the lunch and dinner rush. That's when everyone gets stoned in the back. Doris smokes through her tracheotomy and yells at the rest of us to shut the hell up for staring. The job I hate most, next to mopping the bathroom, is refilling the monster sized salad dressing containers and mixing together the chunks of ketchup, relish and mayo. Thirty-five pounds of Thousand Island dressing is so wrong. To me it looks like puke, but I got in big trouble for saying that.
Sometimes Carter rides his bike over to visit me, and then I take the visor off whether Bubba is looking or not. Usually when he comes, he tells me stories about his band or the death games he's been playing in the woods with his friends. Sometimes he brings me a cup full of butterscotch chips, my favorite. Carter says to find anything worthwhile in this world, you have to go out there and get it and that he's planning on going to get his in May.
Bubba gets mad at me for talking to Carter and taking my visor off but I tell him, you don't want me to mention the back room to anyone do you? And then he shuts up. Besides, my hair will not fall in the food. It is just my best weapon against growing old and ugly in this diner that never quits.