Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Arose for Emily ©2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Don't get romantically interested in any of your co-workers, OK? Hey, you do what you want and I'll wish you the best. It's just that I care and I'm trying to spare ya any situations containing a high probability of awkwardness, disappointment or unhappiness, among other unpleasant potentialities. I recently started hanging out a little bit after work with this co-worker of mine. I grew kind of interested, and tonight at her house, I made a move. Re-jected! Oh well, I'm a big grown-up and I'll be OK. The only reason I even mention it is because I've been meaning to tell y'all a little bit about another co-worker, named Emily, who shares an apartment with the woman who just wants to be my "friend" (presumably without benefits). The roommateness doesn't have anything to do with this story, it's just a weird little coincidence and I don't have anyone but y'all I can share it with. Plus the fact that I gained access to the knowledge (without even asking) that Emily always pays the agreed-upon rent in a timely manner without any drama but spends less than one night a month in the shared crib.
     I've worked with Emily for a couple of years now, but we were just barely acquainted until about January. She's usually been nights and I'm mostly lunches there. We've been on the same shifts a little more here lately. Emily quit her day job working the counter at one of your second- or third-ranked "fast food" chicken franchises, Lee's Famous Recipe® or maybe Mrs. Winner's®, on the grounds that "it sucks." Consequently, she's started working a couple of lunches a week with me. That and I've recently picked up a few nights there too.
     Emily's in her mid-30's but looks to be in her early 40's. She's had a rough life, partied hard and smoked a lot of Newport 100's®. That's not to say she's unattractive or anything, she's slim and actually pretty decent-looking. She talks with a very pronounced Southern, country accent. She dresses nice but pushes the boundaries of what the approved uniform at work is. She's got scarves and earrings and bracelets and rings and shit like that. Sartorially, she seems to be heavily influenced by classic rock singers like Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks. Emily's titties are pretty little but she always wears low-cut shirts that make the most of what cleavage she has.
     We can wear long or short sleeves at that job. Most everybody rocks the short, but not Emily. Only once have I ever seen her wearing  short sleeves. She had a couple of big, pink–splotches, I think you call them–on her arms. I thought she'd been burned on the heatlamps—something that happens to me with shocking semi-regularity—and commented thusly. "No," she said matter-of-factly, "I have Lupus."
     The other day Emily was picking up vouchers off her vacated tables as lunch was winding down. I was next to the POS register that Emily was fixing to enter her tips on. She doesn't usually do stuff like this, but I guess because I was standing right there, she showed me, unbidden, one of her vouchers. It was signed and the tip line was filled in with the correct arithmatic completed, just like it's supposed to be. At the top of the slip, in very feminine-looking cursive, was written, "Great Job! Keep up the Good Work!" and a smiley face. The bill had been for about 13 dollars and Emily had been tipped a whopping 20 bucks on it.
     "Way to go," I said. "She really liked you!" or something like that.
     Emily's big brown eyes looked even more sad than usual and she flashed me a forlorn little smile that was more melancholy than cheerful. "That's my DCS worker," Emily said. "She's the one who took my kids."


  1. Oooh ouch, foot in mouth.. twice! Good story though, you never know what people have going on in their lives

  2. Great post, Joe. It starts as a typical restaurant scene until you quietly open a side door and show us more. Beautiful ... sad, but beautiful, and compelling.

    1. Hey thanx a lot Mike! And good luck with your new ventures and extended vacation