Quite awhile ago, I asked you folks for 18 words with which I could write something....I didn't rush it, and here's another one, with words given to me by Donna. The words I was given are in bold. I didn't do any editing on it, I just kinda went with it. I hope you enjoy it.
“What kinda hat is that?” he asked, as I entered the diner.
“What?” I replied, instinctively touching the brim of my hat. I had heard the word hat, but I didn’t hear the rest of his question.
“What kinda hat is that? I said. Is that a fedora?” He pointed at it.
“Yep.” I answered and smiled.
“Like what that Indiana Jones wears.”
“Oh, yeah, I guess” I said, pretending like that had never before occurred to me. I smiled and scanned the room for an empty booth. I spied one, nodded to the inquisitor, and crossed the room to the booth. The table had not been cleared yet, and there was an empty cup of coffee, as well as a brightly colored plate with a half eaten piece of rye toast (buttered) and a cantaloupe rind on it.
I never cared much for cantaloupe. I’m a honeydew man. Always have been, always will be. And God help the person that tries to make me think otherwise. You try to make me eat cantaloupe instead of honeydew, and you might as well draw up your own chalk outline there, fella, cuz you’ll have done all the living you gonna do. You wanna know what a pillowcase full of soda cans feels like? I smiled to myself at the ridiculousness of my little monologue.
I took off my hat and threw it into the booth and sat down next to it. In case you were wondering, I used to be the kinda guy who would put his hat on the other side of the booth, but one night in this very diner, two eighteen year old idiots were fighting over some piece of tail, and the one on the losing end falls right into the empty side of my booth and onto my hat. Crushed, bloody…It looked like an accordion that had been in a knife fight. Not a good evening for my headware. Ever since then, it sits right next to me in any such booth situations, provided of course, that there ain’t somewhere to hang it up. Here there wasn’t.
I park myself next to my hat and take a gander at the menu. This is one of those places where the menu is already on the table. I like that. Why should I have to wait for someone to drop by and see me just to look at the menu? I think I can handle it myself.
While glancing at the menu, I noticed for the first time that there was music playing. I looked around to see if it was a ringtone or something, but it didn’t appear to be. It seemed to be pumping out of some honest to goodness speakers within the establishment. That made me smile. The music was some doo-wop outta the fifties’ of course. I tell you, if the waitress’ name was Flo, I woulda gone cuckoo!
In searching for the music, I also caught a glimpse of the ceiling tiles…Now I’m no federal inspector, but I would wager the cook’s toupee that this place is chock fulla asbestos. Not that I give a shit, either. Just making an observation.
I stare at the menu for a few minutes. Pondering just what the “special recipe” for the meat loaf is, and whether the “White Lightning Chili” could ever live up to such a name. While I am lost in such thoughts, the waitress appears at my booth. I smelled her before I saw her, a delightful mix of cigarette smoke and hibiscus flowers. I glanced up, she was a tasty little number, I’ll tell you that, packed into that uniform in just the right way. No excess baggage.
“Evenin’”, she said as she hovered her pencil above her notepad,” Start you off with some coffee?”
I smiled at her, probably too broadly. ”That’d be swell. Thank you.” She walked away, and I returned to the menu, glancing over the top to see if her aft view delivered on the promise of her fore view. It did. I decided what I was gonna have, and put the menu down, the international symbol for ‘I am ready to order’.
She made her way back over to the table with the coffee. “You know what you’re gonna have?” she asked.
“I think so.” I picked up the menu and opened it up, I pointed to the honey dipped chicken. “This honey dipped chicken, is that dipped in honey AFTER it’s cooked, or before?” I saw her eye focus on the scar on the back of my hand….She was on the hook.
“What’d you do to your hand? “ she asked.
“Oh this? ”I asked as I pointed to the scar. “That’s an old ballet injury.” She stared for a second, and then she saw the smile on my face and she started laughing.
“Actually,” I confessed,” that is from the cord to a video machine, if you can believe it. When I was about 10, my older brother and I were playing, and he was using a cord he pulled off a vcr as a whip, and he got a good lick in on my hand, cut right down to the bone. Craziest thing.”
She caught herself staring at my hand and blushed. “Wow. That is crazy. Um…To answer your question about the chicken, the chicken is dipped in honey as part of the battering process. It’s very good.”
“I’m sure it is,” I responded, ”I’ll give it a try. Tell me, do you know anywhere around here one could avail himself of a whiskey or two?”
She smiled. “There’s a great out of the way bar I know. If you are willing to wait until 11:00, I could take you there.” I returned the smile.
“I will gladly wait”
“I’ll be right back with that chicken.”