Wednesday, July 09, 2008

5,6 kids.

"Two Rodeo Cheeseburgers, a Whopper Junior, one eight-piece, a Double Stacker, and uh -- how many of us are there? -- six waters: the free ones, not the bottled kind."

The grandmother and the third gather condiments and napkins, then situate themselves by the window.

The minimum wage girl counts out six empty white paper cups, and nests them like so many Russian dolls. She hands the stack to the well dressed woman on the other side of the counter, unaware of the bond she shares with the two children clutching their mother's pantseam.

"mommy i wanna fill up the cups"

"no i do"

"You can both fill up the cups." The mother is diplomatic as ever.

The young girl takes the stack and un-nests them, setting six empty white paper cups on the stainless steel counter. The earnest boy checks her work: "one two three four five six cups"

"yes six cups"

"whys there six cups and theres only five of us"

The girl walks over to the table of three women, and the curious boy follows.

"mommy you got six cups but theres only five of us"

She counts to herself.

"Oh, I guess I must have been thinking of Daddy."

The little boy begins to sob.

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