The Old Man and the Young Waitress
By Edgar Bee
Published in ART TIMES Septemeber 2015
Tom led the way, followed by his friend Larry, to a table at the back of the restaurant, away from all the other customers. They were barely seated when a gorgeous looking young waitress approached them with the coffee pot and two menus.
“Just look into those eyes, Larry, and tell me if she doesn’t make you wish you were young again,” Tom said, looking at her, before she’d even had time to greet them.
“You better believe it,” Larry answered.
“Why would you wish you were young again, you handsome devil?” the waitress said to Tom as she poured his coffee. “You don’t look very old to me.”
“Too old to have any chance with a young beauty like you, I’m sure.”
“Who says? I happen to love older men.”
“But I must be more than twice your age.”
“For God’s sake, will you quit arguing with her?” Larry let out and turned to the waitress with a wide grin, sure that she must be just kidding around with Tom and wanting to play along. “I happen to be an older man too,” he said to her with a wink, “and I certainly wouldn’t be one to argue with you about your being too young for me.”
She returned his smile, briefly, and turned back to Tom.
“So what’s an attractive man like you do with his spare time?” she wanted to know. “I bet you got someone in your life who’d put up a hell of a fight if somebody like me tried to steal you away from her.”
“No, I haven’t had anyone in my life since my wife died, six years ago.”
“Oh? And don’t you think it’s about time you had someone?”
“If I had a chance with someone as beautiful as you, maybe,” he said, grinning.
“And what makes you think you don’t?”
“Oh, but surely...” Tom started, blushing. “You must be kidding with me.”
“No I’m not. Have you got anything planned for tonight?”
“No, not really.”
“What would you say to a nice home cooked meal, followed by an evening of romance neither one of us will ever want to forget?” she cooed.
Tom seemed to hesitate, shrugged. “Yes, that would be nice, I suppose.”
“Would be nice, you suppose?” Larry interjected. “No more enthusiasm than that?”
He turned to the waitress, grinning and flushing. “Maybe you should just forget about him and take up with one who’d be thrilled about an evening of romance with one as beautiful as you.”
She gave Larry another brief smile and turned back to Tom, leaving Larry to flush all the more. He was not used to being ignored by women in favor of his friend Tom. Larry was tall and slim, and looked really good for his age, while Tom, also tall, was fat in all the wrong places and all wrinkled, looking quite a bit older than the sixty-four that he was.
“So, we’re on for tonight?” the waitress asked Tom.
“Great. And make sure you don’t have anyone waiting up for you at home. I like to serve my men breakfast in bed,” she said, nudging him with her elbow and winking.
“Okay?” Larry broke in again. “That’s it?”
“That’s great,” the waitress was saying to Tom, paying no mind to Larry. “Can I expect you around five thirty, six o’clock, then?
“Oh and by the way, I’m Trish.”
“I’m Tom, and this is my friend, Larry, who just arrived this morning, on a visit from Boston.”
“Tom; oh how I always loved that name.
“So I’ll be expecting you no later than six, then?”
“Yes, I suppose, but you didn’t tell me where you live. Not too far from here, I hope.”
“No, on Jeanne Mance, in the Plateau, five or six blocks from here at the most. Here, I’ll write down the address for you,” she said and started scribbling on one of her order slips. She tore it off the pad, folded and slipped it into Tom’s shirt pocket.
“Don’t be late,” she said. “I promise you a gourmet fit for a king.”
“Yes, excuse me, but would it be okay if Larry came along with me, for the meal, anyway?” Tom asked her. “He’s driven all the way from Boston to see me, and…”
“No, don’t listen to him,” Larry put in abruptly. “I’ll find something to do. I used to live here, once, and I have other friends I want to visit. You two just go ahead and have yourselves a ball.”
“No, that’s okay, I’d love to have you over to have supper with us,” Trish said. “After all, if you two are such good friends, then I want to be friends with you too.
“Now, what would you like to order for breakfast?” she wanted to know.
“Are you crazy?” Larry questioned of his friend as soon as Trish had left their table. “An invitation for the night with a dish like that and you want to bring a friend?”
“You know how I’m not good at making conversation with someone I just met; it’ll give me a chance to get to know her better, before I’m left alone with her.”
“I don’t think you need to worry about making conversation with her, with the way she’s all over you,” Larry said. “Let her do the talking and just smile and nod once in awhile, and you should be all right.”
“I can’t see why she’s so attracted to me; I’m so much older than she is,” Tom observed.
“I can’t see it either, and for more reasons than one,” Larry concurred. “She can’t be much over thirty, if she’s even that. And just look at her; she must have every young male past puberty drooling over her. Why she’d even look at a man more than twice her age, and one in the shape you’re in, is far beyond me. It makes no sense. Maybe she’s just looking for a fat tip from you, and that once she’s got it in her pocket, she’ll come up with an excuse for having to cancel for tonight.”
“But she gave me her address.”
“That may not even be her address. She could have scribbled any address on that slip of paper. Let me see it,” Larry said, reaching out.
“Hands off,” Tom said with his hand over his shirt pocket. “What if she wrote something intimate along with her address, and then she sees me showing it to you? She may not like that.
“Anyway, I can’t imagine that she would do such a thing just for a tip, and then what if I complained to her boss, who I’m sure would not approve, and may even fire her, for treating a customer with such disrespect?”
“She probably wouldn’t expect you to complain, and risk being laughed at by all, for letting yourself be fooled into believing that such an attractive young woman would want to take you home to bed with her. Something is definitely wrong here, that’s for sure. Gorgeous young chicks like that don’t go chasing after guys more than twice their age.”
It was just past five thirty when Tom and Larry arrived at the address Tom said was the one on the restaurant slip.
“Well, what do you think?” Tom asked. “Shall we knock?”
“It’s your date; you go ahead and knock,” Larry answered. “I keep thinking that whoever answers the door will never have heard of anyone called Trish.”
“I guess there’s only one way to find out,” Tom said. “Are you with me?”
“I only wish I wasn’t. I’m really going to feel out of place, if this is really her address, with her falling all over you and me sitting there just watching. I have to be crazy to have let myself get talked into this, that’s for sure.”
“You’ll be all right.”
“Yea, sure,” Larry voiced unconvincingly.
“Well, here goes,” Tom said and rang the doorbell.
They waited only a few seconds before a young man swung the door open.
“Hi, dad,” he greeted.
“Dad?” Larry echoed. Looking crossly at Tom, he added, “This is your son?”
“Hi, Danny; meet my friend Larry, down from Boston for a few days,” Tom said, grinning and walking in.
“Hi beautiful,” Larry heard Trish saying from inside.
“Hi, I’m Danny,” the son was saying to Larry, extending a hand.
Larry took Danny’s hand, but looked furious, watching Trish come up to Tom and give him a hug. “You’re Tom’s son?” he questioned. “And I suppose Trish is your wife?”
Danny laughed. “What happened? She pretended she was putting the make on dad? Don’t be offended; they do that all the time. You’re not the first one to get fooled that way.”
Tom and Trish turned to Larry as he entered, both grinning.
“I’ll get you for that, you fiend,” Larry said to Tom, his face aglow.
They were all laughing, except for Larry, who finally grinned sheepishly.”
Trish extended her hand to Larry, still grinning. “Sorry,” she said, “and welcome.
“Supper will be ready in just a few minutes,” she added as she headed for the kitchen.
(Edgar Bee lives in Cheticamp, Canada).