multinational home of flapjacksPosted: February 8, 2010
There’s a certain uneasiness when you’re the only three patrons in a 24 hour establishment, watching the staff lazily clean up nearby tables or loudly wonder why you’re still there.
It’s kind of hard to ignore when you’ve been there for a good chunk of the day, shooting the breeze with a revolving door of friends that make the whole experience feel like a drawn-out talk show taking place within the confines of a restaurant booth stocked with books, board games, and various other time wasters. It’s hardly a bad thing, but suffice to say that there isn’t much to do when you’re sitting around on worn brown vinyl with literally a couple of your friends, whiling away the hours and waiting for a visit from either a somewhat irate waiter trying to close out their shift or the next in the line of visitors who decided to stop by. It’s a time to get to know someone you’ve met only hours ago. You can exchange war stories, take a walk around the parking lot to aid in digestion and prevent diabetes from setting in, or you can watch as an errant bead of syrup coalesces and hardens on the table.
And that’s exactly what we did. We talked of life, traded stories of vary degrees of hilarity, pondered pseudo-philosophical quandaries and the latest goings on while the sun was bright enough through a window to cast starkly contrasting shadows from coffee mugs. That shadow would slowly shift as the conversations progressed, partaking in the natural ebb and flow of lulls and laughter that comprises most interpersonal exchanges. The sun would listlessly progress its way across a perfectly azure sky about as listlessly as we played cards or talked about the opposite gender, all in the pursuit of some more well wasted time.
That day, for the first time in a very long while, the sky was that shade of blue that told you everything was pretty much okay. There was nary a cloud in the sky, and the wind blew in such a way that told you to at least put on a light jacket, for chrissakes. That doesn’t happen very often in this town, where the weather tends to range from “Fuck the world, It’s fucking hot!” to “Thanks Climate Change Cold” with periods of intermittent “Vaguely moist, sort of cold, and definitely dreary”. But for us, that day when it was none of the above was spent within the confines of a booth. You don’t get stir-crazy, you get bored and too full for your own good. It is, however, a perfectly novel idea and a perfectly good reason to have people visit you, which is worth the price of admission. Only the greatest of conversation can start with “So, how long have you guys been here?” or “You guys are absolutely insane.”
A twenty four hour restaurant’s name isn’t meant to be taken seriously. But I and some friends tried to take it seriously, and we almost made it. I’m going to wait for the day when I can stare down a a sign that says “Open 24 Hours!” with a stern expression and say, “That shit is completely true.”