We sat patio-side of the bar, which was enclosed by semi-lattice and a wrought iron fence. The waitress, in all black, not wearing a bra, looked as though she were in outer space rather than on a patio in the sun. Her breasts, plump B cups, protruded to points, size of a pea, her black button-up dress was only buttoned down one, more fabric than flesh for imagination. She locked onto us after a moment. “Can I get you anything?” pause, then I broke the silence, “Yes, I would like one of those exclusive black-lagers,” The waitress looked blankly for a moment, lost-stare, and walked inside. “She is fucking clueless, isn’t she?” Alex chimed. We sat and waited… She was out of earshot, and then came back. “Three glasses please,” She looked and something happened in her head, click, she spoke, “A pitcher is a better deal,” We agreed, she said she’d be right back. Her manager watched, and rushed past, moving chairs, looking upset, while speaking curtly.
I eyed the guys; they had careers, something waiters dreamt of, wet dreamt of as a matter of fact.
I expressed, “If you see any jobs let me know,” Now, I was always looking. It seemed that everyone around me; the drunks, losers, and uninspired all had real jobs-careers…
The sun was out, full-force, and in my face at a vanishing angle. The waitress came with the pitcher and put it down with the glasses. Tommy poured and toasted, “This one is for spring.” I watched cars drive beyond the fence on the street. I wondered what kind of jobs the drivers had. Drinks sloshed up to our mouths then back down to the table.
Remember when life was amazing? I thought as I sat at the table fiddling my Ray-Bans in anticipation; the light was leaving, so was the warmth, but I still wanted to look cool. “Bullshit!” Alex said over my thoughts, at the top of his lungs, “That waitress is not hot.” She stopped and turned, but didn’t register a word. The waitress wasn’t on my mind. I thought of the blood leaking from my arm, the scab I had picked gave out, and blood came through.
I thought of the implications of blood touching another’s. I thought of the results, the moment I went into the plasma donation clinic, and when the nurse said: take a seat. I thought of how the room was the opposite of where I sat now. The results were in; they put a big red letter on my door, old-school letter style. As I walked up and took note my heart sank. Can we test again? “No, we are not a medical facility…” was the response.
I watched the waitress walk by, her body moved beneath the faded black dress, my hand cupping a napkin-cupping blood under my elbow. Not a soul could see. The napkin turned a crimson red as the sunset left an orange-pink hue in the sky. The waitress put down the pitcher as I quickly moved the napkin out of view, droplets spread out, not enough blood to make a scene, but enough to cause concern.
I thought of our setting: a man sans wedding band sat at a four-person table eating a salad, alone, he sat straight ahead. I said look 11 O’clock and my friends didn’t understand. There he was, Dexter, the show, you know-remember? He sat there.
I remember when I found out, I didn’t want to work a job anymore. I wanted to die. I wanted nothing to do with anything. The nurse handed me my results. I told my friends, my ex-lovers, all do not speak to me anymore. I had to make new friends. I had to relocate and forget the past and move forward. The note read as clear as day. My roommates watched while I delivered the message, they silently walked into their rooms made some calls and were never seen again.
The house was empty, dark, except I remained. When the lease was up I moved on. My ex-girlfriend Meg expressed that she was getting tested. She never wanted to speak to me again. The feeling was mutual. I thought of what my roommates did before I read the letter. They slapped my back laughing, and told me I must be mistaken. They said, smiling, that I was not to use their towels, bars of soap, or dishes. That was moments before the reading. This is years after, reflecting.