Monday I had some time to kill before a meeting started, so I wandered downstairs to the cafeteria. The kitchen wasn’t open yet, but I was able to get a Dr Pepper out of a vending machine, and I sat down at a table.
A woman, maybe late fifties, stoutish, hairdo, who worked there was setting out the plasticware in preparation for opening. I asked her if I could get a paper cup; she took me back into the closed area and got me a cup, and, seeing that I had a can of pop, got me some ice too. She said that ordinarily she’d have to charge me for the cup, but to forget it.
Her voice was hoarse, a smoker’s voice. She called me “Hon”.
I sat there drinking my soda and thought of Dad. He used to get a kick out of whiskey-voiced waitresses who called him Hon. There was a local steakhouse, Andy’s Diner, built from old railcars. All the waitresses there were seasoned pros who called you Hon. He loved that place. Miss ya, Dad.