Tuesday, February 28, 2006

one last grilled cheese for the road

near my work is a mom-and-pop late-night diner where you can get a decent meal for a decent price. the waitresses have husky smoked-too-many-cigarettes voices and have been at the job for years. they're very sweet and always put in extra ketchup without you having to ask. they have pictures of celebrities in oldschool frames, the most famous of which is George Clooney in a ratty sleeveless t-shirt. he looks about 17 and like he just finished running a marathon or working on his car.

sadly, the joint was bought by a developer in order to make -- you guessed it -- condominiums. that'll make the fourth big development on the same block to go up by 2007. soon people downtown will have to trek to suburbia to get a meal or some toilet paper. so sad.

on sunday, the last night it was open for business, several of us got a farewell meal. about 6 grilled cheeses (delicious!) a burger and a sundae. we called in the order and everyone chipped in a little extra for the tip. when my friend and i went over to pick up the food, there was a really somber feeling in the air. someone was sitting in one of the booths, videotaping the last night and there was none of the usual chatter and laughter. it was as though someone died. as we were paying and heading out the door, that's when it really struck us that we'd never have home-style grilled cheese available so close to the office again.

my friend: here you go

waitress 1: oh, honey, you pay up at the counter

my friend: no, i know; that's a little something for you guys.

waitress 1: whoa... that's generous. thanks. hey! look what these girls left us!

waitress 2: aww, thanks ladies! that made my day.

waitress 1: it's nice to see something make you smile today.

my friend: we're really gonna miss you guys.

i didn't get to go to that place too often. but as with most things that disappear: now that it's gone, i wish i had.


Jon said...

These kinds of things always make me sad… and annoyed at myself for being reminded again how many things I take for granted. But if you didn’t take them for granted, and you went there all the time, how much more would that suck? I hate losing a favorite hang out more than a place I wish I had gone more…

give me a minute, I’m going to go be all nastolgic and stuff…

Ale said...

thanks for the tip - so you're saying buy buy buy!!!!?

jazz said...

it's the little things sometimes.

glad you guys went and gave a farewell tip. watiress all around the world send you good karma

Guyana-Gyal said...

My friends overseas in other countries tell me how small businesses like the 'corner shop' are slowly dying. I wonder why?