I like chicken and eggs… Seems like a pretty basic desire right? A chicken breast tends to fit in better with lunch or dinner, I suppose, but a good chicken breast, a couple of over easy eggs with a bowl of grits on the side… a little slice of heaven. The problem with that breakfast is no one serves it anywhere close to where I live, no, not even my own kitchen…
I have to travel a good distance from where I live to enjoy what could be my favorite breakfast. When business takes me into different parts of the city and time allows, I pull into the place that serves up my special breakfast. It’s like pulling off the main road and turning into the parking lot that time forgot.
My eyes see things that were a normal everyday part of life in decades gone by. It dawned on me last time I stopped in that it might be more than the simple food that keeps me coming back… It could be the reminder of the days of simplicity when life was much more basic that what it’s become.
The old building is small, especially by today’s standards. The structure doesn’t engulf the skyline with wasted space inside and out, trying to stand out and proves that often “less is more.” The vehicles in the parking lot aren’t status symbols, they aren’t screaming who the owners are or who they’re trying to be, they are transportation. You know, kinda how it used to be…
The old parking lot is faded, contrasted by the heavy oil spots from all the tired cars that frequent the old place. Pushing through the old glass door from the narrow cracked ceramic lined hallway the greetings begin, “Hi Hun”! – “How are you today”? “Good,” I reply, startled, caught off guard by the friendly dialogue as if I’m the only one in the place.
I slide into the old plastic covered worn booth that’s way too small for the average person. “Need a menu Hun”? “No ma’am,” I reply, “What can I getcha today”? the way too happy for all her personal problems waitress asks me. After I order she brings me a coffee in a mug that looks like it has been around since the fifties, along with the red plastic, see through crackle textured glass from the sixties.
I listen to the simple conversations of simple people, real life issues. They aren’t stressing over the losses of their 401k’s, wondering how the kids they never see could have turned out so bad with a tinge of regret… I spot the juke box, stroll over and select some old songs form decades past to match my mood.
I listen to the old songs and the guy cooking as he sings along… really good too, as I eat my chicken, eggs, and grits with just a touch of honey… that’s how us defendants of hillbilly’s eat em’.
As I eat I wonder to myself, “Why were we in such a hurry to get all of this behind us”?
“Get you another splash of coffee Hun”? she asks.
“Yes please”!… “Thank you Ma’am”.