Diner Diaries

Life and Times of a Patron of the King's Chef diner

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I really miss the diner. Not necessarily the diner as it is now, but the diner as I remember it--Gary or Dave at the grill, Dread doing dishes, warm and cozy on a cold winter day when it felt like an oasis from the storm. Gary had a lot of my time (and a lot of my money). But I learned a lot in the diner, about people, about accepting people as they are and looking beneath the surface. The diner allowed me a chance to escape my upbringing with my very regimented view of people and my unreasonable expectations for everyone's behavior. It allowed me to shed my prissy past and become more warm and open (I think).

Plus, the diner provided me with a lot of really wonderful food, a foolproof decongestant--Gary's green chili, and awesome iced tea. It was the first place where anyone bothered to know me well enough to prepare things to my liking. Many places never bother to treat you as a human being, but as an intrusion. Gary, Dave and Dread treated me as a valued customer--a friend even.

I think of them with affection. I hope Dread got his GED and is moving forward in life. I trust Gary is doing his best to be an awesome husband to his precious wife, a good daddy to his children, and a good provider. I imagine Dave is working in a restaurant kitchen somewhere, riding his bike to work, and that someday I will walk into a restaurant, or take a walk downtown and see him, either behind the grill or the handlebars of his bike.

I hope you find a place where they know your name, how you like your tea, how much dressing you like on your salad, and what you want for lunch before you mention it. When you do, I hope you are friendly, grateful, generous and loyal. It's worth it.