The Way of The Waiter

There will come a time when being normal is not enough. There will come a time when 15% is not enough. There will come a time when being blond, beautiful and paid is not enough. When this time comes we must rise above our station.

Every moment he can spare his thoughts, Lance is picturing his death. When he gives Fred his daily coffee, in her mind Lance is on a cold shore being broken by the coming tide. When Sarah asks for no mayonnaise, he is losing herself in the rapid fire of a Thompson sub machine gun. When Jim forgets to tip, Lance feels a jack knife come in below his navel and the air rushing over his bare nerves excruciatingly. He refuses to shrink in the face of his eventual demise.

At home, he practices the techniques given to him in old texts and new instructionals. He takes the words and hold them inside, weighing him to the ground. He evades and dodges the air. He throws jabs and hooks at his shadow. He moves faster and faster still. He is nearing a mastery of sorts.

It all comes to a head on a February morning, when Frank orders sunny side up. He admits he didn’t say sunny side up but it is implied that yes, Frank does believe in telepathy. The scrambled eggs are unacceptable. He grumbles and the grumble turns to high pitch scream. The chair screeches and Lance can feel the clock move slower. The high pitched scream turns to a charge and a fork coming right at Lance’s jugular.

Lance walks back one pace and Frank keeps coming. Lance meets Frank’s fork wielding arm with his own upper left arm. The fork veers off harmlessly. Lance responds with a calculated jab to the neck. Frank crumbles on the floor crying. The entire restaurant and then applause.

Of course, nothing of this happens. Lance comes back from distances only to be fathomed in the mind. Frank is still working his way to getting the eggs he didn’t order but meant to. He speaking when honey soaked words as he always did. The oxygen tank he keeps on him is visible, as is the three pounds that are barely supported by the flimsy chair. Frank gets his way, it’s really no big deal and lance feels ashamed for the terrible fantasy he had.

This is the substance of the way of the waiter.