Julian walked in and said he'd like a job. I said oh I'm not the one you want, and blushed when I heard myself. I meant to say, I'm only the girl behind the counter that nobody looks at, I just stand here looking rectangular in this big dumb apron. Instead I offered to get Brian. Julian nodded. I went to get Brian.

I told Brian it was a friend of mine from school who wanted to fill out an application. I don't know why I did it. I do. Brian and I have a mutual grudging respect and he knows I only recommend people who would be good workers. This sometimes runs counter to his own agenda of hiring pretty flirty girls (I don’t know how I got in the door), but it gets the coffee made.

I told the lie and retreated to the stockroom to regret it. I can’t estimate peoples' ages for crap and for all I knew Julian was in grad school, which is the sort of thing that would go in a blank on a job application, which would reveal me as a liar. I didn't want him to be in grad school.

I remembered I had a job and was at it. I went back to the counter and watched the two of them talk at a table in the corner. I think Julian's neat and calm demeanor was all that was necessary because the interview took about four minutes and then he was on his way out, pausing by the door to glance back at me and perform an unfamiliar gesture which I did not correctly interpret until he was gone: he had tipped his hat to me, although he hadn’t been wearing a hat. It was at that moment that I began to consider Julian a candidate.