She’d been through many better days.
You’ve seen her in a hundred different places,
the same life, a hundred different ways.
A highway diner, behind the counter
hair pulled back, chewing gum with a bit of a snap.
Quick with a menu, a wink, and a jaded smile
followed by “What can I do for ya, Honey?”
She’d been a small town high school cutie
too quickly grown to a polluted somber beauty
drowning in the melancholy life had dealt her
as the result of her poor choices. Wasting her days
always reaching for dreams which seemed to slip away
through her calloused fingers for the lack of grasp
afforded her by all the slime she dealt with daily
and their promises of return visits and casting calls
if they could only get her digits and meet to “talk”
after the last table left and her shift finally ended.
“Finish your drink. I’ll be with you in a quick minute, Honey.”
Too many nights, spent surrendering her sensibilities
for sweat soaked sheets and whiskey drenched breath
without any flowers or even the courtesy of good bye.
All these guys came and left just as quickly,
passing through town traveling around on their sales route
or a long distance cross country delivery in their big rig.
Word gets around at the truck stops or on the airwaves
and the bathroom stalls scribbled with, “for a good time call…”
On and on the turnstile turns and she never learns
and none are any wiser but they all know where to find her.
The days keep getting longer and her life is getting shorter
and before she even knows it, again it’s starting over
as it slips from Pavlovian lips, “What can I do for ya, Honey?”
There was a day a Ray of hope shone not too long ago.
Ray was a lonely man who sold vacuum cleaners door to door
and didn’t do too bad for himself. A strong enough ego
and a dangerous enough charisma to seal the deal often.
He’d roll into town and take a load off in the diner
making eyes and flirting with his very favorite waitress
never once asking for as much as a solitary kiss
because he was falling and kept calling with pure intentions.
But one day as fate would have it, as fate often has its way,
in his favorite booth, ring in pocket and something he had to say
he accidentally overheard an unfavorable conversation.
He stood before she brought dessert and quickly left her money.
He walked away, never to return, because she called everybody honey.