A young dark-haired girl –– very thin, very pretty walks the few steps through the diner to our booth.
She hands us a smile, a menu, a knife, a fork, and a paper napkin.
She brings us our food and returns too often to ask if the hamburger is ok –– how are the fries? Is everything ok? Free refills –– let me bring you another coke.
There is no comparison for her. She has only seen her own image in the mirror.
She does not recognize what true beauty is.
She underestimates or does not ever estimate herself.
She clears the table and says for dessert we have cookies, pie, or cake.
We say coffee and cake but what type of cake?
She does not know –– never seen it before but she will bring it back.
She places the cake on the table with a smile, an apron and loose clothing all on her little girl frame.
Here you go it’s tarry sue. We look at the cake then at her and say: no, no, it’s tiramisu.
She says it looks delicious but she has never tasted it before. She says I’m new to town and you have to understand I was raised on hamburger and noodles. I’m just not used to the fancy things they serve here at the diner.
We say get a fork we’ll share. She smiles –– her eyes melt –– she says you’re sweet and turns away.
Keller is a woodworker in a shop that produces jewelry boxes and picture frames sold to stores and gift shops around the country. He was born in Princeton 43 years ago and lives in Plainsboro.