You’ve awoken too early. Three in the morning. But you can’t get back to sleep.
So, fuck it, you turn on the light. You read teh newz on teh Internetz. You long for companionship and answers. You grow hungry.
A year ago, coming back from the airport at six a.m., you went to Stephy’s with your then-girlfriend before she met your parents for the first time. You did this for two reasons: 1) She was hungry, and 2) You were staving off a panic attack. Number (2) is ironic in that the first panic attack you ever had was at this very restaurant. But you don’t notice the irony. At least not at the time. You notice it a year later, when you’ve woken up at three in the morning, hungry, and unable to fall back asleep.
You notice the irony today.
At any rate. You’re hungry. You Google Stephy’s phone number, call them at 5:45 in the morning. They’re open. You put on some clothes. You walk to the diner.
You remember a year ago, sitting in the booth with Emma, who had not yet heard the Boston accent in all its glory, and you remember how your ears perked up as the customers at the diner bar deployed it. You remember gaping at Emma with that “See?”-look on your face. “Proof.” As if the fact that Bostonians speak with a Boston accent needed proving. But she was sleepy and only ate half of her omelette. So you didn’t press the point.
Today is different.
Today you will walk, alone, to Stephy’s at 5:50 in the morning in the dark, and when you arrive, you will sit at the diner bar and order two eggs over medium, bacon, toast, home fries, and coffee. The coffee will be weak, yet relatively tasty. The meal will be cooked to perfection. You will eat quickly and chat up the lady working the grill. When she has determined that you are a freakishly-unconventional sleeper, you will talk about the job market and the New England Patriots. When you are done eating, you will tip big and walk home. When you’ve gotten home, you’ll think about going to sleep again.
But you won’t be able to.
And then you’ll have to find something else to do.