The diner at 3 a.m.

A dullard writing sparse poetry about places he will never see, wiping dried ketchup splashes off the counter. He pours coffee at 3 a.m. for insomniacs who share a copy of People magazine and run their dirty nails over their whiskers for effect. They whisper things like ‘scoring a gram’ and ‘finding an agent for this thing I’m working on’ and liquor stores and ex-girlfriends with legs up to here (but a bitch because). No laptops here, no tablets, but grimy notebooks and underground comic books with scrawls between the panels. He pours them coffee and wipes the counter and tries not to stare at their snot-clotted noses and cuffs, the gray scabs on their knuckles. The windows are streaked, the night is always the same color, blistered neon on pavement, the unsubstantial shadows that hover near the door. He turns up the radio, maybe find a little Who or Marvin Gaye, and jots down a sentence about Paris. The door jingles open, and he reaches for the coffee pot.

Published by

Steven Baird

Writer, amateur photographer, ad compositor and chicken herder.

6 thoughts on “The diner at 3 a.m.”

  1. I have to say, I rather enjoy your writing. There’s a careful observation and clarity of voice in your style. Concise yet substantial.
    The mark of a great writer in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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