Waffle House
by Justin Abell

     The sign always has at least one letter that refuses to light up. The parking lot is almost vacant except for a few police cars and about five motorcycles. There is usually a homeless man near by, smoking cigarettes and sipping on a bottle of cheap wine. The light from inside the box shaped restaurant throws a yellow glow into the practically deserted concrete desert that surrounds it.

     The doors swing open with ease, perhaps because they are never locked. Instantly the body’s sense of smell is tackled by the aroma of cigarettes, sausage, and burnt waffles. I make my way to an abandoned booth and slide in to the generic red leather seats. Before the waitress gets there I begin to pick up bits and pieces of the soft spoken conversations taking place around me. A trucker argues with a police officer about highway traffic laws and the bikers chain smoke their cigarettes and brag the long distance they have traveled.

     The waitress finally approaches my table and asks me what I would like (her strong southern accent could not have fit the scene better). I order my usual plate: One waffle, two sausage patties, two scrambled eggs, grits, toast smothered with butter, and a single cup of coffee. Now that my food is on the way I stop paying attention to the other conversations taking place. I sip my coffee, lay my head back, light a cigarette and leave my mind alone to wonder. God I love this place.

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