Yesterday I walked into a restaurant and got in line at the register. There were two men in front of me in line. Middle aged, New Balances and tube socks, khaki shorts, potbellies stuffed into polo shirts. They seemed to have just run into each other right then and knew each other through some business venture.
“Did you get the deal?”
“No, I didn’t get the deal, did you?”
The cashier was trying to get Khakis 1’s attention and Khakis 2 kind of looked at her and looked back at him and was trying to figure out how to navigate the situation. The cashier said, “Okay, I guess not” and threw away his receipt.
Khakis 1 all of a sudden became aware of her again.
“I’m sorry, did you say something?”
“I figured you didn’t need your receipt so I threw it away.”
Khakis 1 made that pathetic face that middle aged men often make when they realize they’ve behaved very stupidly. Eyes wide, mouth agape, internally searching for the right thing to say.
When I finally got to the register I laughed for a second and the cashier laughed and we had that silent moment of commiseration about oblivious old dudes who take up space in New Balances.
When I left the restaurant, Khakis 1 was arguing with his wife in front of their kids while the suicide doors of the Tesla waited to whisk them away to a Hill Country McMansion.