Megan tried a cooling filter on the photo of Corey and Amelia playing with the teddy bear, thinking it would make it more dramatic. It certainly did--the bear cast its shadow on her oriental rug in a way that could only be described as elegant. She bit her lip, turning her head to the side slightly. She wasn’t sure it looked right. She didn't want people to think she was some kind of phony. She took the filter off.
The company always tried to promote employee artwork, and Erica, one of their youngest Crew Members, painted the mural of Fairfax on the sidewall. The mural featured a very prominently located Trader Joe’s with a much brighter exterior than the one in real life. The windows shined with the artificial twinkles found only in pictures. The Crew Members high-fived customers, and some of the shoppers even toted around puppies in their carts. This would have been against the health code unless they were service animals, so Erica painted little service bibs on each of them. Erica was attentive to details like these.
Brandon slams his tray down across from me and I know one-on-one must have been rough.
“Hey little buddy,” I say. “Why the long face?” I’m always doing that—talking in dumb clichés. It’s part of my schtick. It would probably be more insufferable...if I weren’t a 220-pound guy who could kick everyone’s ass in here if I tried.