I just wanted to show off my new diner booth. All my life I’ve felt very comfortable in a diner booth with a cup of coffee and a good book or a deck of cards, and I’ve spent countless hours of my life doing just such. I first broke through and fell in love with the genius of Shakespeare while snorting lines of Ritalin off a diner booth table in Las Cruces, New Mexico decades ago. I had to write a book report on a Shakespeare play for English class, and I got so jacked up on the Ritalin we had smuggled over the border from Juarez that I finally achieved the necessary level of focus and cognition to really break through and witness the Bard’s high language and wit. I absolutely fell in love with Shakespeare that night and I have subsequently read his entire canon with great awe and delight. Amphetamines weren’t required to appreciate his work after that, I only needed that initial lift so his wit could penetrate my thick skull. From then on, I was dialed in.
For nearly ten years I played reggae music in African clubs in Adam’s Morgan DC, often playing six nights a week. I would stay up smoking, drinking, and jamming each night, not getting to bed until four a.m. Every morning the first thing I did was plop myself in a diner booth at “The Diner” on Connecticut Ave to thaw out and ressurect myself from the previous night’s revelries. I had three significant girlfriends during that time, and each one would join me often to play cards and drink coffee, talking shit and laughing for hours. I sometimes wonder if the waitstaff ever pondered, “What’s up with the hippy and his card playing girls?” That’s just what I do. I like playing cards in diner booths. Fewer things make me happier. Maybe that stems from when I lived in Guadalajara Mexico in my early twenties, and each morning I’d eat my huevos rancheros by myself in an classic cafe and watch the old men play dominos. I could find all the contentment I needed there.
Since I’ve decided that my new home is my true home, and I plan to live here until vacate the planet, I figured I oughta just go ahead and get a diner booth to provide for the few simple props of my heart’s enduring contentment. I must admit, it was my friend Michael who really put the idea in my head when he helped me move my stuff from the east coast. Something was just missing from a blank, windowed, wall in my kitchen and I said I oughta put a little table there. He paused, then said, “You oughta get a diner booth”. Euraka! I knew it had to be.
And so I searched the internet and ordered one. Coincidentally, the booth was made and shipped from Morgantown, West Virginia, not too far from where I used to live and where I’d often perform at 123 Pleasant Street. It was a little more than I was hoping to pay, but the women on the phone was just so authentic and kind that she made me want to give her my business. She reminded me of everyone I’ve met out here: no guile, pure sincerity.
I just wanted to tell you about my diner booth, one, because I love it, and two, because it’s the location from where I’ll be writing all that’s to come from here forward. So when you read these, just picture me content in my diner booth, tapping away on my elderly laptop with a cup of a coffee making rings on the table and Indian music streaming from my little speaker box. There might be a ribbon of ganja smoke rising from the ashtray as well, dancing in the light from the window through which I watch horses graze over the endless Wyoming prairie. Yes, I have found contentment.