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She works in a diner called the Desert Rose which sits along the northwestern edge of Colorado, near the Utah border. It’s a small and undistinguished affair, worn and weathered but always brightly lit and burning like a little beacon in that high American wasteland. Triangles of cherry pie sit bleeding in the pie case, and strips of honey-yellow flypaper spiral down from the low stucco ceiling.
She was born and raised in a tiny mountain town one-hundred miles southeast. She grew up uncommonly good-looking, self-reliant, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes with all the other small-town girls and boys. She began working when she was in the eleventh grade, and she’s not stopped working since. Waiting tables is what she’s done for most of her life. She graduated high school but never went to college. After school, she drifted awhile, developed a taste for books, black coffee, practical knowledge.More