At exactly ten in the morning Lucy, who doubles as the cashier and waitress of my favorite diner, flips the acrylic sign on the door that now reads, “We’re Open! Please come in.” She turns around to play the same old record they’ve been playing for years, being the oldest operating eating place in the area, proceeds behind the register just in time for me to step inside and say, “Hi!” coupled with the usual familiar pleasantries.
The diner walls had partially turned yellow, holding up a newspaper rack in a minor recess, the sofas a dark brown and caramel, maintains an overall old-feel to Mother’s Diner. It is an oasis in the middle of swanky restaurants and I love how every time I say thank you, Lucy or whoever is assigned to wait on guests, is so nice and hospitable. They never miss to reply, “You’re very welcome, Miss Claire,” or, “Any time, Miss Claire,” or “Surely ma’am.” Sadly, I think less people are like that anymore. But here they are very nice and polite just like in the books.
Somewhere above, close to the ceiling the stereo speakers whispered a soft tune, “Just my imagination. Running away with me…” And I actually felt sorry alone reading the menu with Lucy inside the otherwise empty diner. I did not want to order the pork chops with gravy and looked outside the wide window dreamily, the tune rolling on softly. I thought of them both running away from it all. But what are they afraid of? The chef of course, but it’s not just that. It’s everything. They are running away together from the world. It doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is where they are running towards. I ordered for stir fried vegetables and thought about the pigs running away in the hills. I drew them the moment I reached home, and they were both happy and smiling healthily. They no longer ran, but paced themselves jauntily. I wanted the two pigs to live forever, so I drew them with eye glasses and plump cheeks. Go little piggies, go run with the wind.