Cushion and Apron

Sarah Alisabeth Fox tells her personal story about meditation and waitressing.


A few weeks ago, I leaned on the servers' side of the kitchen window to let the heat from the lamp warm my face and hands. It was quiet in the restaurant, business-wise, so after glancing at each of my tables to ascertain that they had what they needed, I flipped to a fresh page in my orderpad and scribbled.

"It's hard to see the poetry in this anymore."

Maybe it seems strange, but there have been times when observing the patterns of restaurants brought me some satisfaction. The nights when every table in my section ordered an ice tea and a lemonade, when every child requested an apple juice and every woman ordered the portabella and I wondered about the possibility of some underlying stream of universal human consciousness. There have been days when I served people their fries and beers and thought about desire and satisfaction and the temporary solace of food, watching it evaporate as the crumbs went cold. There have been moments when being invisible to the people I waited on made me privvy to fascinating moments of human nature and tiny poems of society. Marital strife laid bare, eating disorders lurking under napkins, couples on…