Diners, Pride, and Existential loneliness
A story about a man who just wants to have a milk shake at peace. [Featured image credit goes to my boy, Edward Hopper]
You sit alone in the diner. You took the seat that can hold about eight people if they squooshed together and you took it out of spite. Quite honestly, that was only part of the reason why. Another reason was that you wanted to sit spaciously, next to a plain glass so you could see what's outside. You think the owners might charge you for ruining their business on a busy day. Then you realize it wasn’t a busy day — it was the end of the world.
The extra-large milkshake, aptly named “Lactose sugar crush,” lived up to its name. You were on your second one at the moment, slurping down while casually flipping through the book in your hand. You always carried the book without reading it, but considering the circumstances of you being stood up at the worst time in history, you decided to give it a read and also order a third milkshake.
It was a book of poems by one unknown poet that goes by T.S Eliot. You stopped at the one that caught your eye, and it went on talking about the end of the world. Encapsulated so much in a couple of lines, and at that moment, you realized you never really enjoyed anything as much as this poem that you barely understood. You also realized that those feelings were probably induced by the mild shock you were experiencing because of all the sugar. You were never a person like this, and you decided the end of the world wasn’t the time you’ll change that fact.
You decided it was time to get your third refill yourself since the manager and the waitress that was supposed to get it to you were having sex on the counter. You went to the milkshake machine next to them, flicking her hands as she reached out to you in jubilation or something. You decided to get three. You put them on a tray and went to your table.
“There you go, sir,” you said
“But I only ordered two,” you said
“The rest are on the house,” you said
You sat down and started drinking. The sun was setting, and the clock on your phone said it was Five past "you’re going to die alone" o’clock. They that as the sun sets, the world will all go dark, and everything will end. The other side of the world is already gone, and the manager and the waitress are already on the roof watching the last sunset.
You knew she wasn’t coming.
You thought about going up to the roof to see the sun as well, but you made the correct assumption that the two were probably having sex. You hoped, as a child would, that by some miracle the phone would ring and that she’d be on the other side, and that you’d tell her about the poem, or the milkshake, or just hear her voice.
You scoffed. You were never a romantic. You were never really going to be one now. She was probably happy with someone else. All of them were probably happy with someone else.
As the sun set, or you had your sugar-induced coma, and as everything went dark, you wished you’d just joined it for a threesome with the two on the roof.