Typical. You never see pretty girls working in places like this he thought as she handed him a Cesar salad. A hostile black pencil mark scratched above the chin was the only remaining hint of an orifice which at one time may have resembled a women’s mouth. He was surprised that something as soft as lips could be made to look so rigid and angular. Her boyfriend probably chips his teeth on those things. And is her blood-red hair meant to attract mates or scare away predators? Her eyes were bizarro suns. Customers trapped in the grey shadow of her gaze became pale and sickly. Her body wasn’t bad. It was unexceptional. So remarkably unexceptional that one forgot it was there, creating a floating head optical illusion. She handed over the Cesar salad in the manner of a slave washing his master’s Porsche. Not angry. Slaves are not allowed to show angry. It was apathy. Her every act was polluted with rebellious apathy. He was looking at the human incarnation of a soggy, typo-ridden protest sign. Her name tag read “Jane”.

This salad better have plenty of croutons . . .

He was polishing off the last hard-boiled yolk when Jane approached.

“Is everything okay?”

The surprisingly feminine voice did not match her appearance. Her question was delivered with the kind of care one would expect from a love-struck nurse tending the wounds her passion patient. It seemed as if her spiritual well-being hung in the balance of his answer.

“Yes, everything was good.”

She cleared her cheek of a crimson strand and smiled with relief. She could sleep easy knowing he enjoyed his meal. A different person stood before him. This is not Jane. It’s her tender twin sister. She was friendly with a touch of hesitation, like she felt naked in the broad spotlight of his attention.

“Are there any good pet shops around here?”

There weren’t. Her eyes lite up as she talked about buying a box of ducklings over the internet. He noticed that her red hair was actually an attractive compliment to her blushing geisha-white skin. Her body suddenly seemed well above average.

He took her number and bounced. What a difference not being an ice-wench can make.