Act I Scene One - Truck Stop
Server: “You ordered the same soup for lunch last week.”
I’m thinking: How nice to be remembered.
Server: “You sat at the table by the door.”
Server: “Will you have the same sandwich today?”
I’m thinking: She’s attracted to me.
Server: “Would you like your coffee now?”
Me: “Yes. I’m sorry I don’t remember you.”
Server: “Not to worry Dear. I don’t remember you either but I never forget an order.”
Act II Scene One - Restaurant
Server: “Hello, Richard. Dinner alone?”
Me: “Yes, as usual. I’ll have the regular please.”
Server: “Coming right up.”
Guy at table
behind me: “In March, 1916 Sr. Ernest Shackleton led his men back from the wind-swept, 60 degree below zero, Antarctic interior to the relative warmth of the ocean. They failed to be the first polar expedition to cross the Antarctic continent. Starvation and frostbite dogged their trek home.”
Guy at table
behind me: “How interesting. I love your stories. You’re so smart.”
Guy: “Shackleton was desperate. His ship, Endurance was crushed by pack ice and sank. Three lifeboats, each about 20 feet in length, remained near water’s edge. Shackleton knew of an island, about 50 miles to the northwest. Without maps and navigation they would dead recon for the island. Darn, I can’t remember the name of the island. If Shackleton and his men could pilot lifeboats through rough seas they might be saved. If they stayed on the icepack they would starve and freeze. Shackleton decided to strike out for the island. Oh, what was the name of that island?”
to face Guy: “Elephant.”
to me: “Pardon me?”
Me: “Elephant. Elephant Island is the name of the island.”
Guy: “Yes, that’s right, Elephant Island. Thank you.”
to me: “Oh, you’re smart too.”
Guy faces me: “So, back to my story.”
Guy to Woman: “I have etchings of Shackleton’s expedition in my apartment. Would you like to come over after dinner?”
Woman to Guy: “I’d love to.”
Server to me: “Will that be all?”
Me to Server: “Yeah, as usual.”
If this essay is meaningful, please like or tweet below or leave a comment. Thank you for your interest and possible action you may take.
Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
I write personal essays, creative non-fiction, flash fiction, and self-development articles from my home in Madison, Wisconsin.