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Fiction

Airport Bartender

She wiped the counter with a damp rag and looked at her reflection on the glass. Her hair was neatly pushed back in a deep red bow which matched her lipstick perfectly. The seventh hour of her nine-hour shift and Miriam still looked flawless.

She was the most beautiful employee in The Intercontinental Restaurant. Hell, she was probably the most beautiful employee in the whole airport. She was definitely prettier than the two women at the newspaper stand, and than the one at the ticket counter.

Miriam often listed all the women workers in her head, checking off each one she looked better than. Yeah, she had them all beat. She was beautiful. She took pride in the fact she always went to work looking radiant. She would be late to her bartending shift before showing up with a hair out of place, or not enough rouge on her cheeks.

"Hey Miriam, you lookin' good today," said the garbage man.

"Oh thanks, uh, I'm sorry, I can never remember your name," Miriam said. But she did know his name. Along with her looks, she'd inherited a great memory from her mother. She remembered the name of every person that worked on the east side of the airport, including Henry the garbage man.

"Damn girl! I tell you every time my name's Henry," he said.

"Oh I'm sorry. I'll remember next time," she said.

Why couldn't this man get the message that she didn't want to talk to him? It's not that she didn't like him, but people like her did not associate with people like him.

She'd rather be called beautiful by the traveling businessmen who sat at the bar and ordered expensive drinks like Sherries and Martinis. They would smile at her from behind their wedding bands and wish they could touch her, kiss her, have her. She knew that's what they were thinking when they left the big tips on the counter and went off to catch their flights and return to their rotund wives, who were bloated like beach balls from giving birth to their many children.

Poetry

Boredom

Stuck in a place between consciousness and solitude, I stumble through the days waiting for something to happen. Anything. My mind is numb, my body tired, and everyday that passes I become more and more apathetic to myself. When will the cycle of life begin again? I walk around in silence, not having the energy to even think about anything to say. The fridge has become my only consolation and I visit it often, wondering what it will give me this time to make the silence stop.

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