I liked the first waitress because I could almost effortlessly make her blush. The second waitress attended Tulane; whatever else you said about her, she wasn’t going to let anyone stand in her way. Because she actually deigned to sleep with me, I found the third waitress inferior to her friends, though later, once she left me, I would manage to convince myself she was a prize. The second waitress had started a philosophy reading group, and she asked me to join. Though I was dating the third waitress, and though I flirted mercilessly with the first waitress, I still wanted to sleep with the second waitress, so I suffered through nearly half of A History of Sexuality Vol. 1 by Michel Foucault, thinking it might afford me the opportunity; on the one occasion I attended the reading group, I didn’t have much to say, as I’d found the book lacking the sex the title seemed to have promised.
The first waitress got married and went to veterinary school in California. The second waitress got tenure someplace in Chicago. After we broke up, the third waitress spent a year hanging out with anarchists in San Francisco before she moved back to New Orleans to attend Tulane Medical School; from time to time, she sent me a letter, wanting to know what I’d ended up doing with myself. When we’d known each other, I’d just moved from the front of the house to the back of the house at the French Caribbean restaurant where we’d worked in New Orleans; by now, at 24, a recent college graduate, after a year in the Bay Area, I was working in the front of the house again.
Tom Andes' poetry, fiction, and criticism has recently appeared or will be forthcoming in Xavier Review, Santa Clara Review, Bateau, 3:AM Magazine, elimae, and the Rumpus, among other publications. A chapbook, Life Before the Storm and Other Stories, appeared from Cannibal Books in 2010. The South Carolina Review will publish his interview of Thomas E. Kennedy later this year.
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