A few nights ago, a few of us decided to go to a coffeeshop around eight in the evening. So we scraped the ice off my car and drove into downtown. We found a cozy corner place, that I’d been once before. My roomies ordered coffee, and I got a Ginger Dragon: a ginger honey and lemon drink guaranteed to give anyone fire-breath. My throat felt like I was eating good Thai curry—blazing hot-- but I loved it, and I’m sure it cured all sorts of things. I must make those for myself more often…
We found a corner table. There were bookshelves behind me, and I was glad to recognize several authors and volumes. Ashley was journalling and processing, Amy was crocheting a hat with storm-troopers on it, I was working on a poem I’d been writing all afternoon. Just as we were settled in, they announced they were closed (contrary to their door sign), so we packed up, and after a little deliberation decided to find another place.
This one has a funny name, Ashley said. Let’s go there. So we drove over, and walked around the block, hunched agains the cold until we came to it. Right next door we could see through the windows, a diner. And it was a legit diner: complete with sparkly cobalt blue booths and twirly seats, and open 24 hours. Let’s go there instead! we decided, and happily trudged through the door.
It was all we hoped it would be. The menus were extensive. You could get malts and shakes, coffee or drinks. There were breakfasts compete with red-eye sauce (and helpful employees to describe what that was), there was a burger called the Hot Mess, there was chicken and waffles. I couldn’t of course eat any of it, but it did the heart good. We sat in a booth, and talked and laughed, and grew nearly hysterical with delight over the menu.
The diner made me remember some hole-in-the-wall place in St. Paul where we once got shakes. There were striped red and white booths I think (although it was a very long time ago) and old photos and paraphernalia on the walls, if I remember.
I thought of Gibbs of course, and all the diners incorporated into great cop-shows over the years. Coffee. Pie. Fries to steal off plates. The places one goes in the middle of the night, when hungry. Quiet talks, and loud ones.
I had a grand time. And we were productive too. After the girls finished their burgers, they got back to their journalling and crocheting. I continued to write. And by the end of it, there was progress, visible stormtroopers, and a poem complete! I’ll remember that night awhile. And I’m definitely going back to that diner...