detailed_devil

We were too drunk to drive home. So, we drove to Denny’s.

We settle ourselves at a table. It is red, raw from the endless scraping of plaster plates and cheap silverware. Harry looks around.

“Denny’s is where the devil goes to take a shit, I’m sure of it,” he says, eyeing a group of men in stained white T-shirts speaking Spanish in the corner. I roll my eyes. A waitress approaches the table.

She is old, molded from the innards of a grease trap and baptized in sour black coffee. She doesn’t ask, but we give our orders anyways. She takes our menus and leaves us.

She is back in a disturbingly short amount of time. Harry looks down at his food.

“You know,” he says, picking a pancake up between two fingers, “it is a clear cut sign that someone is off. I mean, if you ask ‘where’d you go for breakfast?’ and they say ‘Denny’s’, you know something is wrong with them.” He drops the pancake. It bounces. I take a sip of coffee and frown.

“Harry, we are at Denny’s,” I remind him.

“Yes,” he says, dowsing his entire plate in syrup, “but we are drunk.”

He begins shoveling up heaping fork-fulls of viscous mush. I sit back with my coffee and stare at my food.

“Better eat it before it starts eating itself,” Harry mumbles through a wet sticky mouth. I take a few bites. I put my fork down. My stomach, already sagging with shame, groans.

“Be back,” I inform Harry. I make my way towards the bathroom. The saloon-style doors into the back swing toward me. I step aside. A man walks through. He looks at me; his right eye, black, left — for some reason — green. He smiles and his teeth glint in the dull light. I shudder as he passes.

I didn’t plan to vomit when I entered the bathroom, but the state of things makes it unavoidable.

I get back to the table, paler. Harry groans, his plate wiped clean. I push mine aside. I look around the room. A woman sits at a table close to ours. Her clothes are tight, her skin, loose. Beside her, a small boy stabs his fork into a stack of pancakes, over, and over. I turn back to Harry.

“Is there a point to life?” I blurt out.

Harry raises an eyebrow at me. “I thought we came here to sober up?”

I shrug.

Harry looks around the room, “ask me when we get out of here,” he decides.

A Writer and an artist living in Russia

11 Comment on “The Devil is in the Details

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