Val leans out of the truck’s window all smiles and eyelashes and boobs as me and Shana make coffee. Fortunately the windows are on one side of the truck and the coffee station on the other so we can roll our eyes and whisper disparaging remarks about the customers without being seen by them. We finish frothing and brewing and then serve with a big phony I’d-lettya-fuck-me-under-different-circumstances smile. That’s how Shana explained it to me.

“If you let them believe for an instant you’d let them fuck you under different circumstances your tips will be spectacular!”

We serve coffee, while barefoot and half-naked, out of a sixteen by five food truck. The truck is hot-pink with a lame, naked-lady silhouette logo, and black Helvetica type proclaiming our infamous title, Three Girls and a Cup. Not surprisingly, most of our customers are men, young and old, many of them placing orders with huge creepy smiles-among other things-and ostensibly charming remarks.

“Lemme get a large Red-eye gorgeous, light and sweet as you are.”

Before I came on, Shana and Val owned the truck fifty-fifty. We’d all graduated from community college together but lost track of each other. Then about two months ago I ran into Val on the street and she told me about the truck. They’d secured a spot just on the border of what was considered college-town and the business district. Business began booming at an unexpected rate and it was getting difficult for just the two of them to manage. They needed a third to share the responsibility. After being a Gap Sales Associate for the past six months, wearing a bikini while serving coffee sounded somewhat appealing. We all agreed that I’d try it out for a month or two and then have a sit down to discuss a possible partnership. I quit The Gap the very next day.

Every day during my first two weeks working the truck Shana and Val had to assure me that I’d get used to the customer’s leering and sexual innuendos; no sexual-harassment seminars here.

“In any case,” Shana said adjusting her black bikini strap, “the tips will make up for it, promise.”

I wanted to believe her but my b-cup had a hard time getting past her double-dees (getting past Val’s endowment was only slightly less challenging).

“It’s about your attitude not your cup size,” Val insisted. “You have to act confident, smile and pretend that each one of them is the only customer in the world. Make them all believe that if not for that window between you, you’d be fucking them for sure.”

Three weeks in and I was making more money in tips than I’d ever made in wages during my six months as a Sales Associate.

We agreed to wear a different bikini every day, each of us with a unique spin, so that a significant portion of my income during this time was spent on bikinis. Shana wore different shades of red every day. Val wore black tops with white bottoms. I opted for the “boy-shorts” style of bikini bottoms in varying colors and tops with horizontal stripes. I figured the stripes might make my breasts appear slightly larger.

Each day as I got ready for work, putting a t-shirt and jeans over my bikini, I dreaded the day ahead. It was bad enough having to wait on customers as a “Sales Associate” but this, this was customer service on a whole other level. I thought even strippers must have it better. At least they got to work in dark rooms where men had to be of a certain age and some form of security was present. (I realized this belief was an over simplification and replete with ignorance but I was bitter and disgusted and romanticizing a stripper’s reality was comforting somehow.)

But then during my fourth week I had the brilliant idea to rub myself down with baby oil. When the sun shone particularly bright my oily skin would glisten. The customers ate that shit up. I’d lean seductively out of my small window and customers would line up by the dozens.

“Can I get you some change,” I’d say, making sure my words oozed sex, while smiling and batting my fake eyelashes. (Val and Shana and me all wore fake eyelashes, they made “batting” all the more effective). Anyway, about one out of every four or five customers would hand me a ten or twenty spot and tell me to keep the change. My smile suddenly became just another thing to slip on along with my bikini.

Six weeks on the job and I was equally disgusted and enthused; eight weeks in and I was rolling in the dough. Business was as profitable as it was unsavory. I decided to partner with Val and Shana –bikini clad and glistening- taking solace in the fact that our product was solid. Indeed, we served the best fucking coffee in town.

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