Sam acts, thinks and talks like a new man. He uses the ladies' full names, he doesn't toss any cheap lines at them. The best part is that, for him, he thinks "Rusty" is about to be the biggest dick ever. Though, that does still leave Kenny without a date. A problem that will resolve itself conveniently in the near future. I feel like this would be a scene that plays better if you imagine it being acted out, with Sam bouncing between the front of the restaurant and the kitchen, peppering Lucy and Fiona with alternating questions trying to figure out what's going on. It's a very physical scene, and the restriction to text only limits the effect.
Fiction below the fold, table of contents here. If you're in the D.C. area and going to this lecture, I'll be there.
* * *
Each step was a liberating step. I was practically skipping as I made my way into the O.G. It wasn’t my day to work, but I knew that Lucy and Fiona should have been there. Lucy was at her usual spot, exhausted and angry. It was like every other day, except today, I didn’t reflexively look her over.
“Lucy, need a favor.”
“No you don’t Sam. You want a favor.”
“You remember Susan? My date for this banquet Saturday? The one being held in Kenny and my honor?”
“The woman you shamelessly lied to about being a Boy Scout?”
“That’s the one. Her friend canceled on Kenny; he didn’t even lie to her about anything,” I said. “Besides, I’m going to come clean at my banquet.”
“The banquet isn’t being held in your honor.”
That was a fair critique of my explanation. “Either way, it’s really short notice and none of Kenny’s female friends or cousins can make it. Look, do this for me, and I’ll smooth everything over with Heather.”
“That’s harsh. A little slow with the salad bowl, but the O.G.’s made servers out of less.”
“No, literally dead Sam. You broke her little metaphorical heart, which broke her real heart.”
This was distressing news. I thought I had done my best to do right by her; then I put it out of my mind. It was just Lucy being silly. She even sniffed a little to make it more convincing. “Besides, Rusty and I have plans.”
“Good for you. Got to go,” I said. When I walked by her, I didn’t even make a half turn to check her out as I passed; I was a man on a mission. I found Fiona in the kitchen cleaning some dishes. She always went the extra mile; she even put on one of the goofy white hair protecting head mops. I think you were supposed to, to keep hair from getting in the food. But, if you’re washing the dishes, I don’t think it mattered. Her dedication to following the rules is admirable.
“Fiona, need a favor.”
“At least hear me out,” I said. I made my pitch to her as she hummed something off key to drown me out. “So, can you help out Kenny or not?”
“Even if I wanted to help out your sleazy friend, I can’t.”
“I’ll pay you for missing your shift; it’s not like you’ve got other plans, right?”
“What do you think I am? Some cheap escort?” I bit my tongue to not immediately blurt out: ‘No, I think you’re more of a whore.’ I didn’t really think that of her, her voice just had that way of making me want to say the rudest things to her.
“Besides, my boyfriend’s taking me out this Saturday night.”
“I know it is hard to believe Sammy, but I couldn’t wait for you any longer. This new guy? He’s taking me out,” Fiona said.
“This Saturday?” She nodded. “In the evening?” She expressed that that is what the phrase ‘night’ meant. “So your boyfriend, my mechanic, is going to take you out this Saturday evening?” She said yes, followed by spraying me with the sink hose. I retreated out of the kitchen.
“Lucy, just to make sure — Rusty, the guy you are seeing, is taking you out Saturday?” She nodded. I popped my head in to clarify with Fiona, but she just spritzed me again. In the face. I withdrew from the kitchen, trying to reconcile these two facts in my mind when I heard my boss call my name.
“My office, now Sam.”