Just a Cup of Coffee

The dogs in the painting hanging from the north wall of Joseph's apartment looked down on Garret and Joseph. The sun shone through the apartment's front windows as the hands of Joseph's grandfather's old clock struck Ten.

"What's going on today?" asked Garret.

Joseph lay on a beaten up, very comfy leather loveseat. "Let's go to a diner."






"It closed."

"Oh yeah, I forgot. Bummer."

"Huge bummer."

"Hmm. Spring Garden Restaurant?"

"I was just there."


"The coffee shop?"

"No, the diner on York."

"Haven't been yet."

"Let's check it out."

Joseph shook his head. "I don't feel like trying a new place."

"We could bike to South Philly. Oregon, Broad, Melrose, Penrose…."

"Penrose? You crazy? I love it, but dude we're in Fishtown. You realize how far that is?"

Garret threw his hands into the air. "Okay, I give up. Pick one or let's just hang here."

"Let's go to Aramingo."

"Dude, that's the first one I said."

Fifteen minutes later, a white haired waitress stood before them in a shirt a little too tight and a little too low cut. The decade could've been any of the last six – nobody there would know the difference.

"Eggs over easy, bacon, potatoes, white toast, small stack on the side. Coffee, small orange juice, water please."

The waitress seemed to absorb Garret's order. She looked at Joseph.

"Coffee, black."

"That's it?" asked the waitress.

"Yeah, Joe, that's it?" Garret prodded, surprised.

"Yes please."

The waitress traipsed away from their table and checked in on another.

"Whadja wanna come to a diner for if all you want is coffee? We coulda made coffee at your apartment."

"Dunno. I just wanted to get out."

The walls around them listened on as they spoke of nothing important. The world and all of its problems, those of the '50s and the aughts and those of today, were far away and almost unreal. People in booths and at tables around them touched their forks to plates of scrapple and chipped beef and waffles and looked at each other and talked about family and friends and their dreams.

Garret and Joseph finished up and rode back to Joseph's apartment and didn't do much for the rest of the day. They weren't hungover or jaded or depressed, but content to just be. Joseph looked for a while at the painting of dogs on his wall. He'd never noticed a faint smile on the face of a sitting beagle.


  1. Interesting slice-of-life.

  2. Sometimes it's not going out to do anything important that matters, it's just a case of getting out at all, even if it's just to make a break in the day. And coffee sometimes seems to taste so much better if you haven't made it yourself.

  3. I like the dialogue between the two characters - nice slice of life.

  4. reminded me of a diner I always liked to go to in California. There was no purpose other than to go to the diner. They had great omelettes though.

  5. There was something oddly comforting about this!