is addicted to her iPhone. She makes no effort to move or even look up when you pull into the parking lot and turn off the car. After a few seconds, you leave her sitting there and enter the restaurant alone.

You are seated before she comes in. When she sits down, she texts someone. You look away. This road has been traveled before. If you tell her that she is addicted to her iPhone she will tell you that she is not. And then she will tell you why she needs to be texting right now. Or how it is her only way to keep up with the news

or her far flung ppls.

Or whatever.

So you stare out the window. Red and white balloons (half deflated) tied to a fence near the road flutter in the hot wind. 96 degrees at 530pm.

Rush hour cars come and go in a solid line of colorful plastic metal. No one has their windows down.


Nearly September.

Lots of ppl run the red light and lots of other ppl honk their horns in response.

The waitress shows up with pomegranate iced teas in tall glasses.

The iPhone, temporarily placed on the table, chimes and rumbles. O.A.R. is playing on the restaurant's sound system. The waitress knows the words. She sings to herself as she heads toward the kitchen with your order.

Gonna walk myself to the end of the Earth today.

Jenny's freckled face looks and her phone and laughs. She shows you the text: "Look what Kelly says about such-and-such."

You don't even pretend to care. You look down and stir your tea. A few seconds later, the waitress returns with roasted red pepper hummus, baba, and extra pita. One of the cooks, presumably, turns up the music.

May God be with me and watch over us tonite...

You take the first bite.
Dinner. The land of the free.