Everybody else in line is impatient except him.
He just stands there, smiling, behind the ancient lady and her elderly son who reads and re-reads the billboard menu to her, explaining the items as he goes, trying his best to understand them himself.
He tells her the burgers are all the same size, but you can order one, two, or three of them all on the same bun; that “large / medium / small ” refers to the size of the drinks and the side of fries, not the burgers themselves.
Everyone in line can see that the old lady’s almost blind, but adamant, too, because she keeps insisting she just wants a burger with some fries and a soda; doesn’t want to order a combo because, “A combo’s too fancy, and it sounds like a rip-off,” she says.
Everybody in line is scowling and muttering curses under their breath, watching their lunch breaks slip away.
Not him, though; he just smiles at them both and thinks about how much he misses his mother.
Ron. Lavalette is a very widely-published writer living on the Canadian border in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, land of the fur-bearing lake trout and the bilingual stop sign. His first chapbook, Fallen Away, is now available from Finishing Line Press. His poetry and short prose has appeared extensively in journals, reviews, and anthologies ranging alphabetically from Able Muse and the Anthology of New England Poets through the World Haiku Review and Your One Phone Call. A reasonable sample of his published work can be viewed at EGGS OVER TOKYO: http://eggsovertokyo.blogspot.com