I was slurping coffee during my nine o'clock break. I was already grease streaked. The shop was grey, and my coveralls were blue. It was Valentines day. I wasn't dating anyone.
"Got plans tonight?" Wayne asked. He was an older guy, who was not grease smeared and wouldn't be at the end of the day.
"No, and you?" I said. He shook his head.
"A few years back, there was this guy who was selling roses on the day before Valentines day." Wayne began telling this story:
"He said 'buy a dozen roses for your wife' and I said 'I ain't gonna buy that bitch nothin' then he said "buy a dozen roses for your girlfriend' and I said 'I don't have no girlfriend' and he said 'buy a dozen roses for your mamma' and I said 'my mamma's dead.' Well the fella started getting frantic 'buy a dozen roses for the girls at work.' I thought about that for a minute, and I did.
"That night I separated them all out and put a card on each one, and put the bucket of roses in the front seat of my truck. There were two extra roses. Every morning I got my breakfast from the drive-thru window at McDonalds. When I got up to the window I gave the girl who handed me my food a rose. You ought to have seen her bloom with joy. After that, every time I went through the line she'd throw in an extra order of hash browns or an extra McMuffin. That rose was the best money I've ever spent on a woman."
I just raised my eyebrows, and shook my head.