In Baker, Florida, you'll find a little cafe with an alligator on the sign. If you go inside, you'll see another huge fiberglass gator wearing a corny grin.
The waitress, a fifteen-year-old, will seat you and your wife in a booth. Then, she tells you about the soup of the day—which is chicken.
She notices your wife's UAB hospital bracelet, but doesn't say anything, because she can see how exhausted you both are. Instead, she calls you both, "sweetie."
Your wife orders fried shrimp, you order the catfish. And in this empty restaurant, your tired discussion is all over the map, like married conversations often go. Only
this time, even dull topics seem more important than usual.
After finishing your meals, you'll talk about life. Growing up, and your old bicycles. About what kind of mustard you like, or when you learned to swim. You talk about your daddies, then she remembers that time you got mugged in Atlanta.
When the waitress asks if you want banana pudding, you ask if it's good pudding—like she'd ever tell you it wasn't.
When she brings it out, with two spoons, your wife takes the first bite. And you notice the ring…