Three would make her weep

She didn’t know what she was doing. The “CD Hits” jukebox ate her dollars. If a machine could be smug, she thought, this was the one. Her thoughts grew angry. Just like that little chink bitch yesterday at Lucky-Duck 89, she thought. The one who tried to shortchange a twenty for three measly egg rolls.

An adolescent waiter asked if she needed help. She said she was trying to play Best of Bare Naked Ladies. It’s her idea of fine music.

Applebys’ sound system was stuck. Haunting twangy guitars saturated with reverb and Chris Isaak’s plaintive Elvis voice. Endlessly during her solo supper of pasta diablo del mar and brown insta-bread. Toyed-with cellphone, no Incoming’s, spotted with grease marks.

Two glasses of bordeaux. She remembered that three would make her weep.

She paid the tab. Heard Chris still wailing on extended speakers in the bathroom. Saw her moonlike forehead stressed and oily in the mirror, but her eyes cocaine bright. Breasts still right out there, one or two more buttons undone before leaving, the maroon pushup bra doing its best.

Wasn’t sure where to go next, sitting in that new Lexus, not even able to hear it idle.