Because it is Monday night and because Studio 60 is over, and won't be on again for another week (damn the tv schedule!), and because I still have grading to do, I decided to post one of the sections of my new story? essay? titled (for now) "You Find Yourself in a Situation." As I said this one's for Suzi (yes, the same Suzi of "the sun, the moon, and Suzi's butt" for those of you who are paying attention).
You are sitting cross-legged in a Denny’s, tied up like a pretzel in the corner booth. You don’t know why. You don’t know why you are sitting cross-legged, but you are in Denny’s because you and your best friend decided to leave your town around 10:28 pm on a Friday and drive the approximately five hours (more like four and change the way she was driving) to her town, where her parents are not expecting you until morning. What to do? You start at a Denny’s right off the highway. The bars have just closed, or are closing, and the place is beginning to get busy. You and your friend empty your pockets and your wallets and your backpacks and count the change you have dumped onto the table. The question is, can you afford dessert? You cannot. You can afford the two omelets and two cups of coffee you have already consumed. When the waitress comes around again, you nod, yes, you will take more coffee. Refills are free. You begin to look into each other’s eyes with the goal of deciding how much longer you can sit in this booth and drink free refills before the waitress tires of you and asks you to leave. Just then a drunk cowboy staggers over to your table. Just a detail here, but it’s southern Idaho. This might not be the only drunk cowboy in the joint, but he’s the only one standing in front of your table. Or wobbling. The waitress sets your check on the edge of the table, eyes him and asks, almost reluctantly, if he wants anything. Give me a steak! he yells. And burn it! You are somehow charmed by this character, recognizing as you do, that he is drunk and paying attention to you. Why are you sitting like that? he exclaims, as the waitress flees. Are you a yogi? This is the eighties. Yogi is not a term you hear much in your day-to-day life. No, you say. It’s just comfortable. He eyes you suspiciously as if he recognizes the liberal, yoga loving hippie you are about to become. He grabs your check off the edge of the table. I’m going to get this! He begins waving the check around and swaying from side to side. Tell everyone that folks from Kuna are nice, he says. If you ever meet anyone, tell them that you met a cowboy and he bought you dinner.