With the accents in this diner as heavy as they are, it seems as though I’ve just taken a long trip into the Deep South rather than the 5 minute drive it took to get here from campus.
The smell of pancakes and coffee would be enough sensory detail to tell me where I am with my eyes closed—but if not the sound of clinking silverware on ceramic dishes would be the dead giveaway. The human sounds of lively conversation and laughing take away the sense of loneliness that usually accommodates small town diners like this one. The way that the lively conversations are so poorly juxtaposed with the black night outside the window to my right reminds me of going to football games at my old high school—when all the lights were shining on the stadium like an artificial sun, with such brilliance that the darkness surrounding the stadium was uncanny—the darkness enveloping the stadium forgotten until the game was over and it was time to go back out into the loneliness to find my car. As long as it’s night time, a place like this will always make me feel lonesome.
Since the weather is particularly chilly for this time in September, I cannot help but notice that the man at the bar is dressed in a way that is comically inappropriate. He’s middle-aged, and slender-looking under his combat shorts and short-sleeved spider silk Hawaiian shirt, which is complete with a lime green baseball cap. Earlier I caught him staring at me from across the room, where I sit at this faux-wooden booth, jotting down my descriptions of this diner in mad red ink. It’s funny how this ink should appear mad in my eyes right now, or that the darkness outside the windows of this diner should make this bright diner seem lonely by default.
There can be so much emotion and movement in the middle of so much darkness.