The Waitress’s Eyes

The Waitress’s Eyes

Donna’s eyes through a kaleidoscope, The Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin, Germany 

We ventured out to one of our favorite lunch spots. The restaurant removed half the tables and spread customers about in alternating booths. We sat down and looked at the single-page, printed menu, and I felt a rush of pleasure I didn’t expect. I missed this, the pure joy of going to lunch and the time out of life it brings. Our waitress approached with a clean white mask strapped across her face, and I slid mine in place. I’ve gotten pretty good at reading eyes, an awareness of the times I guess. At first, I noticed concern in the fine lines at her temples, but as our eyes met, there was more, something new, an understanding of our shared experience, and an underlying kindness, a behind the mask kindness. I asked for the blue cheese dressing. Her blue eyes flashed and blinked.

”We don’t have blue cheese right now,” she said with a squint of concern.

“Oh, the ranch will be fine,” I said, feeling grateful for any dressing, and I thought, society’s finally past the place were salad dressing matters. Something about all of this felt good, a shared experience, an unavoidable understanding. And the human touch––eye to eye.