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Dream Of You In A Cowboy Hat

Let me tell you, first of all, so you don't get the wrong idea. I'm not a freak. I don't leer at strange women on the bus. I could, I bet you, since they all get in their own conversations in some language that nobody else can speak and laugh together and act like they don't know everybody is watching them. But I don't.

I keep my mind clean so I can stay out of trouble and just keep making my own way. Working here you see a lot of people come through. But if they come back every so often and you get their name and some personal details then everything starts filling in and you know that person but they don't know you. I don't do that.

I remember you from half a decade ago, when I said to myself you'd be married by now, juggling kids around and getting fat on mac and cheese. But you proved me wrong, didn't you? You came here with glasses and an idea of what you wanted that glittered in the distance like a city of enchantment.

I prepared your teriyaki garden salad with extra bacon and fresh cheese, and even though you didn't know it, I watched you. Every weekend a different boy paid. You stopped coming during the summers. When a customer ordered a teriyaki, I used to peek through the service window into the dining room, but your goggled young face never showed itself. I kept out of trouble. I got myself promoted to drive thru when Angie left.

When the manager asked me to do it, I said I'd have to sleep on it. I had a dream of you in a cowboy hat. You were the manager's daughter and instead of asking me to work the drive, he asked me to kiss you. It was New Years Eve. You came in, and I tried to take your order, but you never ordered anything. You walked up to the counter, tipped your hat like a country music star, and started running though a list of all the kisses you ever got, Joey Myers, 20 June 1995, Brandon Ackermann, 7 Sept 1995, Doug Chan, 10 Sept 1996, and on and on.

The next day I told the manager I would work the drive thru. I got a raise, making seven fifty, and it put me in line to be manager someday. It's an easy job, too, just fountain drinks and asking how many packets of catsup would you like. I didn't care about that though. My subconscious mind told me if I took the job you'd be back. And here you are. There really was a wait on the chicken though.