Eva tried to control her anger, and when she said, “If didn’t need this job, I would throw this drink in your face, then slap the shit out of you,” it wasn’t by snap-reflex. Nor was it shouted out, either. Eva said it firmly. The edge in her voice told the men sitting around the restaurant table that she was not fucking around.
The main heckler blinked at her, clearly surprised. “Okay, okay,” he said. “We were just kidding.”
“Flirting, I can take,” Eva replied. “When it’s all fun and games, I’m all right with it. Hey, I know how I look and how every other waitress in here looks. But when you go on and on about sexual favors, it crosses the line.”
“Look, I’m sorry.”
“You should be. Let me guess, you guys want every waitress here to get down on their knees and say, ‘All hail Caesar’ and service you. Am I right?”
“We didn’t mean anything by it,” another guy from the table said. “Nothin’ hurtful, at least.”
Eva’s head snapped toward the man who said that. He was Average Bob from Where-ever The Fuck, USA. Not greasy or freaky looking. Just a regular guy.
She said, with the edge in her voice honing sharper, “When you go into detail about what you’d like to do to us, that’s crossing the line. It is hurtful. Yeah, our togas don’t go far past our asses. Yeah, I know you’re staring at my legs and ass. Go ahead, stare away. But keep your fucking mouth shut about wanting to get busy with us. Keep your thoughts to yourself. You could at least have the fucking politeness to whisper.”
“Hey,” another guy said, “we’re sorry, okay?”
“Yeah, yeah,” came other replies around the table of six guys. “Sorry.” They didn’t sound all that sincere, just saying the words.
“Here’s the bill,” Eva said and put a small leather folder on the table. The white edge of the receipt peeked out from the top edge of the folder. “Pay up and get your sorry asses out of here. And if I hear any more shit from you guys, I’m going to the management for harassment. Got that?”
They all dejectedly said that they got that.
When Eva returned after a minute to pick up the small folder with a credit card in it, the table was completely silent. Many of them avoided looking at her, and instead looked around at other parts of the restaurant. After she swiped the credit card and returned it to the table, the men were all eager to beat feet out of the restaurant and head off to the casino floor. Eva smirked at the large tip they left her, and she hoped they would lose a lot of money as they gambled at the various games in the casino.
The experience left a bad taste in Eva’s mouth for the rest of her shift and made this into one of those shitty days at work. And when her shift was finally done, she nearly raced off like that group of guys had.
Carlo was waiting for her in the back of the casino, at the staff entrance. His uniform was much different than hers. Wearing a crisp white shirt and black pants, he was showing much less skin than she was. Dealers had that luxury. But, she always figured that they made less in tips. Carlo did. The gamblers who tipped him after they proudly collected their piles of chips would usually toss him one or two. Still, that wasn’t nearly as frequent (or as much) as the tipsy men who wanted to show her their enjoyment of her short toga through tips.
As Eva met up with Carlo, she said, “What is it about Vegas that brings out the asshole in guys? I know I’ve asked you a million times, but I still can’t figure it out.”
“Could be the drinking,” he replied.
“But people drink in lots of other cities, too.” She sighed. “Guess there are assholes everywhere. Just seems like there’s a particularly strong breed of them in Vegas.”
“Guess it’s the atmosphere,” Carlo said. “C’mon, let’s get you home.”
Once home, Eva kicked off her sandals with straps that criss-crossed up her to her calves, and she hopped into a hot shower. Meanwhile, Carlo prepared a dinner of leftovers, heating up tortellini with tomato sauce and arranging side salads. Eva entered the kitchen wearing a robe (complete with casino logo on the left breast) and a towel wrapped around the top of her head.
Sitting at the kitchen table, Eva smirked at the irony of the food before them, compared to the food back in the restaurant, that had been enjoyed by the group of assholes. Their steaks and lobster. Their colossal shrimp cocktail. Fine wine, cocktails from top-shelf liquor. She and Carlo were about to eat for a fraction of what those guys had paid. It was tortellini tonight, and other nights had mac n’ cheese, tacos, hamburgers, and so on. They were pulling in decent money, especially for the cost of living in Las Vegas. But Eva pushed for them to live most of the time as well below their means as they could. It made for a steadily increasing savings. Savings to be used eventually for classes to give them other opportunities. She was glad that Carlo went along with the plan. He had long-ago dealt with the temptation to gamble. Becoming a dealer had definitely helped with that. Plus, he could see a future with her, something he didn’t have before he met her.
Eva also had to give a little laugh about her robe and head towel. If only that group of jerks could see her now. Would they still have ogled her and wondered out loud if she’d be a great lay? She supposed they might’ve. Assholes were like that. But then, Carlo had said before that she looked hot in her robe. Not with the towel wrapped around her head like a fortune teller who couldn’t afford a fine silk head-dress, though.
“C’mon,” Carlo said while chewing on tortellini. He patted his lap.
“Love to,” Eva replied and accepted his invitation by lifting her legs and resting her feet on his lap.
He started massaging her right foot.
She sighed, deeply and gratefully, and said, “It’s been that kind of day.”
He nodded that nod of knowing what she meant, and he kept on massaging. She thought to herself how that group of guys could’ve taken notes from Carlo. Of course, if they saw him, they would’ve snapped some nasty comment. They wouldn’t have appreciated the beauty of him. He was quiet much of the time, but he could get loud with his buddies when they were out having a good time. With all their frugality, Carlo and Eva enjoyed nights here and there of letting loose and splurging and living it up, away from the pressure of jobs and trying to scrimp and save for a better life. For getting caught up in the waiting and planning for a better life, what about sometimes living for the now? Some people spent tons of money on extremely expensive dinners, and they lost lots of money gambling as they lived in the now. Carlo and Eva, however, would eat dinner out now and then, and they also went drinking with friends. For them, living in the now mostly meant enjoying each other, talking about their wants and dreams, and giving each other pleasure. And Carlo was seriously good at giving foot massages.
She smiled a small smile at him, her eyes half-lidded in drowsiness, and she said, “All hail Caesar.”