The Other and Fire
The Other was a she. She had always been so, but he seemed to realize it for the first time, along with her distance. She said some things. There was bad Muzak playing from a speaker near the waiter's station.
"How are you?" August asked the Other.
"I'm fine. I had a hard time finding a place to park, but I've got my rain jacket in case it starts up."
He continued, "Did you order anything yet?"
"Just sweet tea."
A fire truck went by outside with sirens calling out Armageddon.
"You really like sweet tea?"
"Yeah. I've grown up with it," said the Other.
"My mom used to make great sweet tea. She made it with oranges and maraschino cherries and soaked it out in the sun. We had it every summer. I make it now. You should come over and have some tomorrow."
The Other faltered and he saw it. Another fire truck went by outside the window. Its sirens were loud in the restaurant. The table they were at was wide across.
"It's supposed to be a sunny day," he said.
The waiter came back and took orders. He was short and not very Italian. The Other got a salad. August got a salad and sweet tea.
"Did your mother make sweet tea?"
"No," she said, "I just found out a few months ago when I moved here. I like it now."