There is not enough work for the waitresses. They need more customers in the restaurant. The waitresses have gathered at the back of the restaurant where I am sitting at a table. They are just standing around. They are awkward, impatient. They are five of them. They are all middle-aged and wearing white shoes, black skirts and white blouses.
They need more customers.
I take another bite of chicken fried steack. Three waitresses are absent-mindedly staring at me. I pile up some corn on my fork. Perharps they want to remember what a customer looks like. I take a sip of ice water. Now there are four waitresses staring at me.
The fifth waitress is looking at the front door. She wants it to open and a party of four peaople to come in and sit down at one of her tables. But she’ll settle for a sixty-year-old woman who just wants a cup of coffee and a piece of pie.
I return to another bite of chicken fried steak.
The fifth waitress joins the other four waitresses in staring at me but I’ve done all I can to help. There’s nothing more I can do. If only I could eat five chicken fried steaks at five different tables, my life would be much simplier.
As Yukiko slept, her hair slept long and Japanese about her. She didn’t know that her hair was sleeping. Proteins needs to rest, too. She did not think like that. Her thoughts were basically very simple.
She combed her hair in the morning.
It was the first thing that she did when she woke up. She always combed it very carefully. Sometimes she would put it in a bun on top of her head in the classic Japanese manner. Sometimes she would let it hang long, reaching to her ass.
It was a little after ten in the evening in San Francisco.
Drops of Pacific rain fell against the window beside her bed, but she didn’t hear them because she was sound asleep. She always slept very well and sometimes she would sleep for long periods of time: twelve hours or so, enjoying it as if she were actually doing something like going for a walk or cooking a good meal. She also liked to eat.
As he tore up the shit of paper with words on it about a sombrero falling from the sky, she slept and her hair slept with her: long and dark next to her.
Her hair dreamt about being very carefully combed in the morning.
Kyô no shigoto wa turakatta
Ato wa schôchû wo aoru dake
Dôse dôse, San’ya no doya zumai
Oka ni yaru koto arya shinai
Hitori sakata da nomu sake ni
Kaeramu mukashi wa natsukashii
Naite naite nitatte nan ni naru
Ima ja San’ya ga furusato yo