"Some more Diet Coke?" The waitress is chirping again. She seems almost obsessed with C.'s and my fluid needs. She looked so forlorn when I initially ordered coffee but didn't need water as well. I again saddened her by not taking her up on her offer of a coffee refill a few minutes ago. That was at least her third beverage query.
I decide in a flash.
As she sets C.'s new Diet Coke down next to the one that C. has drunk maybe a fifth of, I look up and smile.
"I think I will have that water now, if I may."
"Sure!" She is beaming in her beverage element.
C. and I are at lunch, a lunch scheduled BTHT (Before The Hearing Thing). When she heard about THT, she asked what she could do. I said she could still go to lunch with me, only now I was going to need to eat comfort food, which for me translates to breakfast food. C. offered that due to work stress, she could use some therapeutic pancakes, so here we are, before us plates of omelets and pancakes and bacon and many, many beverage cups. So many.
The waitress comes back with my water and a look of utter happiness to be carrying it. I know it's wrong, but I can't help thinking that she has the same look on her face as my Salsa gets when you throw her ball and she's run after it and is now carrying it back to you. It's a look that says, "THIS is what I was born to do! Yes! I'm RETRIEVING! Look at me!"
Our breakfast food is eaten now. I'm a member of the Clean Plate Club. C., alas, is not.
When we leave, C. goes back to her office, and I head home to continue researching, preparing myself for Friday morning. But first I take Salsa out in the backyard and throw her ball as far as I can. It arcs deep to the left, and she bounds after it, her coat shining in the sunlight. As she comes back, her ball in her teeth, a look of boundless pride on her face, I crack up.