Author : Davey Guardado

A city full of people and my favourite is that waitress.

“Will that be all for you sir?” She says, because she knows theres a reason why I’m paying with paper money.

I nod, handing her a crumpled five that she pulls away from my hand in disgust. She doesn’t bother to look back as she fills the coffee machine. Outside, reflected off the windows is blue neon.

I have another five, enough for cigarettes, she returns with my coffee and puts it on the table saying nothing.

I drink.

The skyscrapers stand tall around the city, their domotronics symmetrically playing advertisements on a feedback loop that circles their perimeter.

That waitress is a hard bitch.

I see her everyday, but we only speak when I have enough money to pay for a drink.

Up in the sky the gyrocopters glide across the abdomen of the buildings, the streets glow.

This city, these people, an intricate dance of protocol.

I turn to look at her, her features coming together to form a young woman. I can’t imagine how someone with all her imperfections could be considered as anything other than beautiful.

I leave, but something compels me to leave the other five as tip money.

I make my home in the alleyway in a cardboard box, shivering as I pull the newspaper around me.

I recognized that waitress by the colour of her eyes, the inherited traits passed down from mother to daughter. A billion faces in this city and hers was the only one that took, even a moment, to acknowledge my existence.

Up in the corporate arcologies, the valids excercized their programmed intelligences, their faces beautiful, but none more than the waitress on the 52nd.

The biometrics read a predisposition to narcotics, I was doomed from the day my parents realized they couldn’t afford to hand pick the traits that would have provided me a future.

Still, it shouldn’t have kept me from being a better father.

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