Creeping in Cal Young

The lights are dim in the restaurant as the place seems to be trying to soak up as much natural light as it can from the mostly grey day outside. ESPN and slow drum music creates the ambient noise in the room. Eight people and five employees occupy the venue on a Tuesday afternoon.

The back of the restaurant consists of two occupied tables. One with two middle aged women and the other with two middle aged men. The men look to be a couple years younger than the women with all of them looking to be between 40-50. The men look like they have just come from the golf course as they are wearing polos and khakis.

A middle aged couple eat salads and drink coffee in the center of the room. The man looks to be about 50 with a widow’s peak that is half grey, half black. The glasses are the dominant feature on his weathered face and his voice is too low to be heard. His head gestures are the only clue as to what he is saying. The woman across from him is much louder. She looks to be about 45 and her jet black hair is just long enough to fall on the shoulders of the leopard print top she is wearing.

At one end of the restaurant sit two older white haired women. They seem to be finished with their meals and sit sipping tea with honey in it. They are too far away to be heard but their faces indicate a slow and subdued conversation. After about 20 minutes they get up and leave out the side door of the building. A waitress named Jane immediately cleans the coffee cups and container of honey off their table.

Jane looks to be about 40 and has a pony tail with frizzy brown hair coming out the back. She is wearing the green and yellow restaurant uniform and blue jeans.  After bussing the table she goes behind the counter and a metallic clanging can be heard as she sorts silverware. Also behind the counter is the manager. He seems restless as he paces around the restaurant in his grey crew-neck, white collar, and black dress pants. Seemingly desperate for something to do he grabs a broom and starts sweeping behind the counter.

The two middle aged men leave, thanking the manager on the way out the door.

“Nice to meet you!” the manager said with an accent that is tough to place.

A crackling sound fills the restaurant as something hits the deep fryer in the kitchen and the smell of onion rings fills the air. Four people now remain in the restaurant as the man with the glasses and the women in leopard print have now finished their salads.

“Can I get you a warm up on your coffees?” asks Jane as she makes her rounds and the man with glasses shakes his head ‘no’.

The middle aged women now get up and head to counter, pay their bill, and leave. Jane helps them at the counter and then goes to the bar to sit with another waitress. In front of them is a stack of receipts they are reading over. They look up from the tickets to speak to the manager across the restaurant at the cash register.

“Two, $2 shots, $10.50,” said Jane.

“It was $11.50,” said the manager and quickly leaves the restaurant.

He soon reneters and points at the waitress, not saying a word.

The two middle aged women soon return as well. One of the women is holding money in her hand.

“Sorry again,” said the manager.

“No, thank you. It was impressive.” one of the women says before the pair leaves once again.

The manager then turns back to Jane and asked “How many tickets?”

“Two” said Jane, apparently to the managers satisfaction as he goes back to the kitchen.

Meanwhile the man in the glasses and woman in leopard print are getting up to leave.

“Anything going on Friday or Saturday? Let’s catch a show or something,” said the woman in leopard print.

“Ok,” said the man with the glasses and they walk awkwardly over to the counter where he pays the bill. The manager shakes their hands and they walk out the door and the restaurant is now empty of customers.

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