Dance Ensemble had their first performance of the weekend this evening. I arrived for my Higbies shift during intermission, ducking beneath glittering arms and flinching away from heavily-lined eyes, hardly recognizing my friends amongst the intimidating dancers.
Behind the counter, Olivia was glad to see me. Her forehead shone with sweat, and her sleeves were rolled up. As soon as the line broke, she bolted, grabbing her backpack and apologizing as she vaulted the low gate.
I watched her retreating figure for a moment, and then reluctantly turned to the first customer in line. He wanted a mocha.
“No specialty drinks during intermission, sir. I’m sorry.”
The man frowned, considering his options on the sign behind me.
“I’ll have a mango smoothie, then.”
“That’s a specialty drink.”
He gave me a withering stare and walked away, proceeding to spend the next five minutes bad-mouthing me to his wife, who seemed terribly embarrassed about the entire situation. Her face might have been even more flushed had she known I could hear everything they said.
Using his starched elbows to push his way through the crowd surrounding the counter, the Student Activities director, Dave, came around to stand next to me. He claimed sanctuary, taking deep breaths of aquanet-free air.
“I’m on drama duty tonight,” Dave explained.
“Drama duty? You mean backstage?”
“Yeah. Apparently some dancers aren’t happy with their choreographers right now.”
We stood in silence for a few more minutes, me awkwardly leaning against the pastry case, Dave scanning the horde for signs of rebellion.
When the lights flickered, signaling the end of intermission, he turned to me again: “Call me if you see any bitch slapping.”