chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: diner

fragments…Joey

I leaned over and brushed the crumbs off the red vinyl seat before sliding into the booth. The window was steamed up and next to the painted flower pot on the sill there were a few clear squiggles where a child had trailed a finger through the moisture.

The rasp of Henry’s radio news was overlaid with the crackling of grease on the griddle and the clinking of silverware on heavy china plates. Behind me, in a dry flutter of pages, a newspaper was shaken open and shut, open and shut, and then wrestled inside out, folded down and flattened onto the table with a couple of quick slaps.

Pattie set a cup of coffee on my table as she walked past with a family’s worth of breakfast plates fanned up her arm. At the corner booth, she set them in front of a trio of eager-eyed children and their tired looking parents.

The tiny bell on the outside door tinked its friendly warning and Joey’s arm appeared, pushing open the screen door, followed by his watch-hatted and pea-coated body. He turned in my direction without looking up. His heels thudded on the wood floor and then the vinyl banquette gave a gasping sigh as he settled himself across the table…