Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Would you like hashbrowns with that?

I love the Waffle House. Any Waffle House, any location because the scenery does not change.

Dolly the chain-smoking, blonde-wig-wearing waitress is always leaning over the counter, directly under the "No Smoking" sign, dangerously wielding her 3/4 ashed cigarette directly over your scattered, smothered, chunked, and topped hashbrowns.

Jimmy the burly, misted with sweat, Jackson Pollock aproned, short-order cook who looks a wee bit too old to still use a "y" on the end of his name standing amid a grill littered with the perfect recipe for a severe myocardial infarction marinating in its own greasy ooze.

The old, weathered man sitting near the corner with a John Deere hat perched high atop his head in the spirit of Elmer Fudd. His chin is tilted slightly down, eyes at half mast presenting the observer with a problem; dead, asleep, or merely resting between bites of onion-loaded chili?

Any time after midnight and between seven ante meridiem there's the group of young-ish men, all with the same bottle-black hair cut as if they stood in the same shower at the Y squeezing the black mustard bottle goo onto each other's noggin saying things like, "Dude, I feel like this really signifies my angst," and "My mom is gonna be so fucking pissed."

And then there's me. The 20-something bent over a steaming cup of coffee and a tattered notebook with one eye squinted and the mascara I had so carefully applied 15 hours ago turning me into a gross interpretation of Alice Cooper. Scribbling frantically between cigarette puffs to accurately portray the various types one might run into at the Waffle House.

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