You’re back in the restaurant.
It’s closing time after another long shift.
Bussing the last four-top, you watch your hands (a habit, now). Piling unclean plates and half-empty glasses, they appear smooth—no callouses, oil burns (or fingernails)—they aren’t so much hands as the idea of handling things, which are also just impressions, simulacra of memory: like brush strokes of a painting viewed too close.
But is this enough to wake you up?
There’s the sound of running water, clanging dishes, and whistling—she always whistles, washing dishes—