H. Palmer Hall
The Car Hop at Sonic

It was not so much that I wanted
to run away, wanted to be with her,
but the waitress at Sonic, balanced
on her roller skates and almost
teetering backwards with the weight
of the tray, had somehow managed
to catch my attention.  We flirted
through my open car window and
she said she got off at twelve and
wouldn’t I want to get off, too, and
so, at twelve, I circled the parking lot,
looked at each menu with its speaker
attached and waited for an unbalanced
car hop, thinking this is just SO
fifties.  When she got in my car, her
skates left behind in the glassed in
office, she seemed so much shorter,
her legs somewhat chubbier.  Whatcha
wanna do? she asked and I quite honestly
did not know.  I mean I had had some idea,
some notion of a cheap motel, some noir
fantasy of this and that, but the roller
skates had been a part of the scene.  Her
mouth tasted of bubble gum.  Perhaps
that was it.  Or she no longer seemed
quite old enough for the cigarette she lit
when she got into the car.  Or maybe
it was the flipflops on her feet, the pink
plastic purse, the Ipod or…so many things.
Everything seemed so common, nothing
like the Grand Hotel or Marlene Dietrich
or Grand Liaison…just young and cheap.