Characters Of the Drive

Skylight Restaurant — the last of the classic diners on the Drive — has been closed for the last couple of weeks so that the family who run the place can get a summer vacation. They were open today and so the everloving and I eagerly took ourselves down there for an 11:00am breakfast.

Considering it was the middle of the morning on a work day, we were surprised and pleased to see how busy the place was, with just our usual table (kismet!) and one other available. Corned beef and hash, and eggs benny (definitely NOT hollandaise, but damn tasty) with lots of coffee and toast, satisfied our inner needs, while the other clients and their (loud) conversations kept us interested.

Behind me, unseen but not unknown, two transgendered friends went back and forth with a street person at another table. One would tell a story about how “they” had screwed up their claim, and the other would respond with a story that topped the first in getting-screwedness. This went on and on until the stories were far into the BS zone. Still, they seemed to enjoy themselves.

At another table beside me an earnest middle-aged man explained in detail to his bored companion (who never spoke so far as I could tell) how 9/11 was an inside job. I couldn’t quite hear who he considered the villains of the piece but he knew it was all very fishy.

On my other side, three millennial media types took up a booth with their laptops and iphones and notebooks. They ordered coffee and took up a lot of space for a lot of time. I didn’t notice them share a single word of conversation.

And then there were the four West Siders who arrived, and sat defensively, close together. They studied the simple menu for a long time and then ordered with lots of substitutions. They whispered among themselves, and they sounded like the coming of gentrification. Their various loud perfumes filled the room insensitively for those with chemical sensitivities. Leaving the Skylight and plunging into the aroma of Western Reduction (really powerful today) was almost a relief.

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