Your Diner – Grant J. Bergland
Offbeat Writings / June 7, 2009

You know the place. It is a vintage diner with stainless steel on the walls, bright red vinyl booths, and a percolating jukebox. Or it has cracked leather seats, patched with spiderwebs of duct tape and laminated menus with prices whited out and redrawn with unsteady lines. It is in a bustling city with people marching outside like frenzied ants. It is alone by the side of the road as if the highway gave birth to it. It is a diner in the east that serves scrapple, or in the west with a breakfast burrito, in New England with fried clams any time of day, or in the south with grits and gravy. Wherever it is, every diner has a counter. That’s what makes it a diner and not a restaurant. You can sit alone there. Diners are made for eating by yourself, they serve you with no questions asked- there’s no “are you waiting for someone?” or “let me get this extra place setting out of the way.” Nope. Without a word the waitress turns over your coffee cup and fills it. You remember how you read somewhere that the oldest diners were born outside of twenty-four hour factories…