spent forty years revising, Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems I am nodding off in the truck on the way back when Hannah texts me a picture from her work. It’s dark and blurry, but I can make out pixels of a greased cowlick and an embarrassing curb chain. Guess who’s here? I turn to my dad. “Will you drop me off in the square?” *** The Jeffrey House Tavern is one of those new Harvard Square restaurants that tries to look old. Harvard freshman bring their midwest relatives here on parents’ weekend and they think they’re at some Boston clubhouse but really it opened in 2009 and all the wood panels and fireplaces are fake. The place is full of hairy ankles and polos. It’s disgusting. But last week Hannah got tipped one hundred dollars on a sixty-dollar tab by some drunk and drooling businessmen. So there’s that. I don’t see him at first. I feel stiff and shaky, like all the water in my body is swirling towards one point. I keep peeking around the boxy booths expecting to see his dumb Sox hat, but I only see other dumb hats. Hannah comes up behind me, “He left, I think. Sorry. He wasn’t in my section, I didn’t see him till he was paying. I looked at him like he was less than trash though.” “Oh. It’s whatever.” I don’t feel sad, only the release of adrenaline. And stupid for coming. “Let’s pretend he never existed. I wanna get out of here.” “Ok, give me like thirty minutes. I bet I can get Sandra to cut me early.” Hannah brings me a diet coke with four lemon slices, and I drink it at the bar while I watch her work. There are two kinds of servers. Servers that make their tips from personality and servers that make their tips from being invisible. The first is more risky, the second is more work. The four years FICTION | 21
Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art selected for phoebe's Winter 2019 issue.