how we die is deeply doe eyed


by Cliff Weber

one

I live in Los Angeles and all I want is a friend.  I am 42 years-old and have been living alone for almost 20 years.  My name is not important. 

I have been working behind a desk for the same company since I was 19, one year after I finished high school.  I make a modest living, no complaints there.  I've had a few girlfriends and one fiancé; none of whom I loved.  The only woman I ever skipped home thinking about forgot my name the second time I said hello.  She worked in a diner on Pico Blvd. and I went there every Wednesday night for nine weeks hoping she would wait on me or make incidental contact with my hand.  Of those nine nights she took my order twice (one by request) and we never made incidental contact.  When the tenth week came I shrugged my tired shoulders and randomly picked a new diner out of the Yellow Pages.  I ordered the usual and it was slightly better.

 

two

I live in Los Angeles and all I want is a friend.  I am 42 years-old and have been living alone for almost 20 years.  My name is not important.

I have been working behind a desk for the same company since I was 19, one year after I finished high school.  I make a modest living, no complaints there.  I've had a few girlfriends and one fiancé, none of whom I loved.  The only woman I ever skipped home thinking about broke my heart the second time I said hello.  She worked in a diner on Pico Blvd. and I went there every Wednesday night for nine weeks hoping she would wait on me or make incidental contact with my hand.  For the first eight weeks she took my order once and we never made incidental contact.  When the ninth week came I shrugged my tired shoulders and said, "Okay, what the hell.  One more try."  She waited on me without request and I ordered the usual, only this time I asked for my sandwich on sourdough instead of rye.  She lifted her long eyelashes away from the fading ink of her pen and said, "Rye was always my favorite."  I dropped my head and unraveled the silverware from inside the napkin.  I did this carelessly and hastily causing the prongs of the fork to fall towards the tabletop at an admirably disruptive speed. I stuck my hand out and snatched the lone utensil out of the air with minor trouble.  My meal arrived soon after and I ate slowly, wondering why I wasn't given a knife.


BIO: Cliff Weber is 24 years-old and lives in Los Angeles. He has self-published two books, Matzo Ball Soup in 2009 and Jack Defeats Ron 100-64 in 2010.  A new collection will be available in 2011.  His work has appeared in Adbusters, Physiognomy in Letters and Slant.  This is his first piece in Bartleby Snopes.  Weber is currently in need of a publisher.