"Milkshake, um... vanilla. Shot of vodka, please." She handed the menu back to the waiter.
"And you?" the waiter asked, turning towards me.
"Just coffee. Black." He walked off, leaving us practically alone in the diner. I checked my watch. 2am. Well, I didn't have anything to do the next day. Nothing important, anyway.
"Not many people wear those," she said and taking a sip of her water. Her eyes were half-closed, but I could tell she was staring at me between her lids.
"Your watch. Everyone has one of these, you know." She wiggled her cellphone at me. It was a tiny thing, one of those old flip-phones like I had back in the early part of the century. "Watches are for squares. Or people who are just being pretentious. What is it? A Rolex?"
"No, it's a Timex. From the 60s. Got it from my father." I waggled my wrist at her, so she could see it. "Not even a battery. I don't do pretentious."
"But you do take girls out for drinks when you just met them, don't you"
"Not often, no. Less often that Jack thinks I do, at any rate. Actually, I just wanted to get in good with your guitar." Her guitar sat in the chair next to her, in a battered case that could have been black, or brown, or maybe even blue when it was new. It was covered with stickers of states and cities. "You get a decal from Saint Louis, yet?"
"Not yet, first time I've been here. Haven't seen anything more than the bar, the hostel I'm staying at, and this place." A milkshake appeared in front of her. The glass twinkling with condensate. She grinned and plunged a straw through the whipped cream and into the shake proper. Then she took a slow, deep taste of it. A warm "mmmmm" escaped from around her straw. "You should try this." She slid the tall glass across the formica at me. I pushed it back, untasted.
"Had it before. Thanks, no. I'm driving, remember?"
"Loosen up. Just a sip." Again, the shake made its way towards me. I gently, yet firmly pushed it back, smiling at her.
She looked at me across the fluffy mound of cream. "You don't compromise." I glanced out the windows and watched the neon lights flash across a couple of cars driving by. Reflections from the puddles of rain added to the colorful air.
"Not unless I have to." The coffee was hot and rich and extra black. The smell washed the vodka/ice cream aroma away. She tilted her head to the side a fraction. I looked at her through the steam of coffee. "When are you leaving?"
"Trying to get rid of me that quickly? Already decided I'm not your type?" Her smile became a deviant grin wrapped around her straw.
"I just wanted to know how long I have to show you around the city. Can't find the good parts without a native guide." The coffee at this place wasn't the best in town, but it was always tasted the same. There's something about consistency.
"Making assumptions now, are you?" She drummed on the table with her thumbs and sang, "Well you took me to the movies, you took me to the dance. You took me to your warehouse tied up in the back of your van."
"I don't dance," I said and took another sip of the coffee.
Her eyes opened wide. "Why am I not surprised?" She held her shake up and raised her voice. "Can I get this to go?"