She danced in front of the window, snowflakes glowing behind her under the streetlight. The blue silk blouse slipped off her arms and floated out of sight. Black slacks into a shadow, then the quick shiver, the beautiful awkward gesture into nakedness. Her skin startled me-- luminous or pale, depending. We didn't know each other well, but it was my turn, so I raised my arms above my head and tried to shake. We both wanted to know something about somebody. My clothes piled beneath me in a clump. The striptease didn't do much for either of us, but by then we were chilled and fell against each other's skin. Snow under streetlights landed layer upon layer. We fell forward, then fell apart against the sheets, cold again, and wet. She whispered in my ear, and I pulled the blankets up over us. I knew her name, so I whispered that.
An average joe comes in and orders thirty cheeseburgers and thirty fries. I wait for him to pay before I start cooking. He pays. He ain't no average joe. The grill is just big enough for ten rows of three. I slap the burgers down throw two buckets of fries in the deep frier and they pop pop, spit spit. . . pssss. . . The counter girls laugh. I concentrate. It is the crucial point-- they are ready for the cheese: my fingers shake as I tear off slices toss them on the burgers/fries done/dump/ refill buckets/burgers ready/flip into buns/ beat that melting cheese/wrap burgers in plastic/ into paper bags/fries done/dump/fill thirty bags/ bring them to the counter/wipe sweat on sleeve and smile at the counter girls. I puff my chest out and bellow: Thirty cheeseburgers! Thirty fries! I grab a handful of ice, toss it in my mouth do a little dance and walk back to the grill. Pressure, responsibility, success. Thirty cheeseburgers, thirty fries.