Forks, occasionally crusted with dried egg. Water, honest NYC kitchen tapwater in food service glasses. Bowls of pickles that taste of bandaid. The waitress who, barely glancing down, proclaims my two-year-old niece "cute" in a voice that says, "I have seen an awful lot of two-year-olds in my 25 years here. They are all the same."
Uncharming, with their strange lighting and listless food on thick chipped plates, diners are the same world without end. I have conducted my business in these places: love affairs over pancakes. Turkey club sandwiches after funerals. Gossip, crying jags, laughter that tipped me sideways out of my seat.
Long may they continue to thrive, in their vinyl-coated, Star-Trek-lighting-fixtured glory!