The car at the curb



I am consumed with watching the car across the street.

I sit in my usual booth with its window looking out on the usual street.

But for some reason, I find the gold 1960s Chevy thatís parked at the curb immensely interesting.

Perhaps even suspicious.

Nancy, my usual waitress, strolls by my booth armed with a sloshing pot of coffee for refills and legs so long she needs no short dress to attract attention.

She smiles at me, fills my cup and gives me a look I know is an invitation to go home with her.

The coffee will go cold. I barely notice her soft red lips.

I stare out at the car.

Nancy, who is used to my odd behavior, shrugs and moves on, serving coffee if not the smile to the patrons in the other booths.

I do not dislike Nancy. She always makes me ache in a great way when I look at her.

Iím just consumed with the car.

Rain comes.

It dots the glass and turns the street scene into an impressionistic painting.

Store and street lights look like halos.

But the car remains a dark smudge I cannot keep my gaze from.

So when the tall blonde approaches the car, I donít immediately make the connection.

And when I do, she is already inside, starting the engine.

I leap to my feet nearly knocking Nancy and her never-empty coffee pot to the floor in my rush to get outside, and reach the street.

Iím drenched within a few feet, and I plunge into the exhaust fumes the Chevy leaves in its wake.

The car and the woman inside are a fading mystery up the street.

I remain fixed, getting wetter as I continue to stare.

My mind pleads with the blonde for her to return.

After a time, I realize, she will not.

So I make my way back into the diner, my soaked shoes squishing with each step, leaving a trail of liquid from door to the booth.

ďMore coffee?Ē Nancy asks.

Then she fills my cup before I can answer, her eyes telling me she thinks Iím crazy.

Her smile tells me she wonít take no when she says Iím going home with her for the night.

And still, I stare out the wet window, wondering about that car.

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