With respect to the chipper “howdy” with which the attendant greeted customers: it was almost never the case that the first syllable was higher-pitched than the second and was almost always the case that the interval in pitch between the two syllables was greater than one would encounter in normal conversational speech.

Sometimes the tonal distance between the syllables seemed to span several octaves (howwwwww- DY!), sometimes the “dy” seemed not more than a fourth above the tonic of the ‘how’.

(Idea for band name: Tonic Of The ‘How’)

Attendant’s eyes wandered from corner to corner of the ceiling as he tried to apply musical values to his spoken discourse.

Attendant, in spirit of extreme silliness and idleness would contemplate that “do-re-mi-fa-so…” should be replaced by “how-dy-how-dy-how….”

Attendant noticed that customer’s “thaaaaaank YOU” covered about the same tonal interval as his “howwwww DY”, almost a copyright infringement type scenario, he warned.

Clasp that holds the bread bag closed near a milk spill. (No substance looks so chaotic and awful when spilled as milk, attendant feels. Attendant has never liked milk.) “Moby Milk” is discarded as stupid; still the milk’s whiteness is part of its problem.

Watching someone draw — the awe-inspiring moment at which an artist turns a group of shapes into a recognizable figure.

Man with Indian accent (by credit card: name of famous Indian film-maker), ACDC shirt, meeting with pastor.

Walking through the thicket of campaign signs on the area we call the median strip but which the British apparently call the central reservation.

Four couples in the place: two talking about movies and cultural issues; two talking about the climate and the “markets” and spiritual issues; two speaking in a language I don’t know; two not speaking, a mother and daughter focused on their phones.

Attendant thought yes the date must be what the customer had said: for that was his birthday and this was his birthday.

Coming to the page bottom and being stopped by the page number — 444. The three fours have called attention to something beyond themselves, but for a while I’m unable to place exactly what they invoke –then I do recall: it is the after tax price of a customer’s drink.

Possible End

Customer ordered medium iced coffee with a shot of espresso, two bottles of water, and a wheat bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. (Disclosed tragic circumstances by which his brother had become guardian of grandchildren.) On closing: finding a very long blond hair of a customer stuck in a frame of the bar stool. That person coming wholly to mind in the imagination of the attendant as a result, as if having been rehydrated, so to speak, from the hair. “In the crockpot of the imagination the customer had become reconstituted.” Attendant thought a protruding thread from his shirt, seen peripherally, was a curling white filament from his mustache — but it didn’t move when his head did. (Attendant further considered: nor did his thought, his thinking, move when his head did. In fact, more usually it did when he didn’t.) Customer off to play Frisbee golf. Customer writing remembrance for Uncle whose funeral she can’t attend. Customer said that corruption in his country was attributable to low civil servant pay. Customer asked for internet pass key and carried sharp Palm Sunday palm.

Attendant was writing and speaking at the same time: wasn’t sure how long he could keep it up. Customer reported having experienced serious fainting spell, had broken crown of nose when she fell. Customer said the weather had been great and the game had had a few surprises including a couple of late inning home runs. (“Also: we won.”) Attendant called 911 for second weekend in a row (person didn’t have medicine, was having suicidal thoughts, asked that the call be placed). Customer believed that the recipe for Thai iced coffee involved sweetened condensed milk. Attendant observed, but could not bring to the point of articulation, a certain manner, shared by all customers, of reaching for a lid after having been served their coffee. Customer wasn’t flautist –rather, second violin– but nevertheless had played this piece for flute, now playing. Customer ordered poppy seed muffin and large iced coffee – had not seen Narrow Margin but was a fan of noire. Customer shocked at growth of development even within the last six months in the area — was going to return fertilizer at the home depot. Pedestrian with neon yellow leash for his animal and hot pink cap for himself. Both feet on the pavement the pedestrian propelled himself from the car seat pressing with his left hand upon it. Customer asked local official about something not in his jurisdiction. In process of throwing away paper towel attendant swept onion slice stuck on trash rim into abyss of trash. Pedestrian’s excellent posture and athletic build descend “like a whirlwind” into his small bright shining shorts, attendant writes. Three consecutive customers ordered lattes, each in a different size, each with a different milk.


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