time stands still

May 23, 2013 in food, things built

“If I could, I’d vote Condi Rice for President.  She knows the ins and outs of the White House!  Foreign policy!  The CIA!  The FBI!”  All this was spoken in a thick thick New Jersey accent.  With each “ins and outs”, the man shook his fist.  He was talking to another man who looked very much like him but older, a brother.  They looked to be in their mid to late sixties.  Before this point, the conversation had been running at a low murmur, with the younger brother doing most of the talking.  Soon afterwards, the older brother picked up the check.  They left in the same car.

After the brothers had left, five or six regulars filtered in for lunch, taking their usual booths or seats at the counter.  For a few of them, the waitresses brought them their drinks and dishes without a word.  One guy at the end of the counter had a slice of pie with a cup of coffee.

A few days before last year’s presidential election, my husband and I were in this New Jersey diner, which is in one of the small coastal towns that line Raritan Bay.  When I’m at a local diner, I feel like I’m in the town’s family room.  Newspapers that have been read are left on the table for the next person.  Sometimes there’s a TV on.  There’s familiar chit-chat among the servers and regulars.  The conversations give a glimpse of what the locals think is important or, at least, worth talking about.  Sometimes, like at home, dishes that need to be cleaned pile up on the counter.  As time moves forward, the chairs and tables, the pictures on the walls remain in a moment in time.



diner 01


diner 02


diner 03