Look, I’m skipping my Friday Five: COVID Diaries edition for this week because it’s quite literally more of the same. I had the day off on Monday which consisted of, you know, more of not leaving the house, but less of work-stuff. So that was nice, not having to rot in front of the computer for 8 hours.
But the rest of the week was: work, exercise, books, Kdramas. Chooch has been doing admin shit in Minecraft which really shows off his sociopathic side, that’s for sure. He built a house for someone, wow how nice, filled it with diamonds, WHAT A GENEROUS CHILD!, lured the guy in there, collapsed the roof on him, rude!, and SPAWNED A BUNCH OF WITCHES TO FILL THE HOUSE, what a psycho! He was laughing so hysterically that it was as contagious as the coronavirus.
Aside from that, we haven’t Battle Royaled it out yet, though he did jokingly come at me with a knife today and I had to pull out that age-old parental line of THAT’S HOW ACCIDENTS HAPPEN!
One of the books I’m reading currently is Haruki Murakami’s “After Dark.” Several scenes take place in a Denny’s, of all places. I guess I’m just very emotionally fragile these days because I immediately felt a strong pull of nostalgia as I imagined these scenes playing out at a Denny’s in Japan. It’s probably been about 7 years since I’ve been to a Denny’s, for several reasons:
- since I started adjusting my diet in 2012, diner-like food makes me so SICK, that I have to eat it sparingly;
- I refuse to pay what they charge for a fucking grilled cheese in this day and age!!
But hoooo boy, what I wouldn’t give to be able to leave my house and sit in a Denny’s at all hours of the night with some friends and a pack of cigarettes right now, am I right?
(OK, we can deep-six the cigarettes.)
I didn’t eat at Denny’s very often with my family (my pappap always preferred Italian restaurants, but when he felt like “slumming it,” we’d always go to Blue Flame, obviously). So it wasn’t until high school when I really became a Denny’s loiterer, probably when I became friends with Lisa. It was always the artsy/music scene types that hung out here (who knows where the “preps” and jocks hung out), and we’d just sit in a booth for hours on end, socializing, smoking, making new friends (I even went on a date with a guy I met at Denny’s, but that’s a story for another day), watching Lisa smash her molten lava cake into a soggy mess, acquiring a legitimate taste for coffee.
Denny’s is where I started a fight with this guy James (who I later became friends with and his wife is the one who did my majestic Marcy tattoo!) because he was harrassing my friend Dan at school. (I literally pulled James out of his booth by his collar and made him go outside with me so I could yell at him – I had SOME decency to be a loud mouth in private, OK?). Denny’s is also where I wanted to go the first time, all those years ago, Henry said he wanted to take me out to dinner.
“Really? Denny’s?” he asked, surprised.
“I want a grilled cheese,” I shrugged.
I pulled out some old photo albums this morning thinking that I would look for two or three pictures I knew I had from various hangouts at Denny’s back then, but was surprised when I found around 12 almost immediately. I thought it would be fun to share them here because who doesn’t like sharing pictures of themselves with bad hair, fat faces, too-thin eyebrows, etc etc.
I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS DAY (even if I wanted to – I have hours of it recorded on 8mm). This was the day of our friend Evan’s art show at Carnegie Mellon. We went to Denny’s first, of course, and our friend Justin and this guy Tony who was visiting from Virginia and whose mom was friends with Lisa’s mom and asked if we’d let him hang out with us and then he kissed me in my driveway hahaha) also were there, and Evan stole a door knob from a door in one of the CMU buildings and it looked like it was a super antique, and I think he gave it to me (do I still have it!!??) and then afterward we went to visit my friend Jeremiah in Hazelwood who tried to help me join a girl gang but I didn’t drive and didn’t know how to take a bus to get to the initiation.
This was the best fucking day. 1996 could have been a perfect year if it wasn’t also the same year that my Pappap died.
Lisa and I were so well-known at Denny’s but no one, and I mean NO ONE loved us like our favorite waitress Marianne. She even kept my school picture in her keychain next to his actual kids’ pictures!! Sometimes I think about her and wonder if she’s doing well. She really cared about us.
Meanwhile, there was this waiter, Gerard. He was like, Denny’s After Hours. Everyone who hung out there late at night knew him and the “Gerard Special,” which was a banana split made to resemble a weener and balls. When I was dating Psycho Mike in 1997 and he got kicked out of his house, Gerard let him crash at his apartment for a bit and Mike said it was one of the scariest times of his life which is really saying something because he once burnt down a house and spent time in a juvenile mental institution at least twice.
Don’t mind my Devilish expression, but Denny’s is also where my friend Brian fake-married me and my first love, Justin K., three years after we had broken up, lol. I also have a picture of Justin fake-kissing me that I kept hanging on the fridge but then Henry would flip it over so the picture-side was hidden, and I eventually put it back in my photo album because it was starting to get ruined.
Henry hates knowing that I had past lovers, lol.
Also, this was the closest I ever came to actually getting married.
LOL, I used to place personal ads all the time because I LOVED going on dates (this was also when I was dating Jeff, and he was not really on board with this). I would almost always take friends with me though. This particular time, I met a guy named DeeDee who was aghast that I didn’t like football. We went to play pool and then of course went to Denny’s. Lisa came with us and brought her friend Petra, who was an au pere for a family that Lisa used to babysit for. I think she was Slovakian? She was very sweet and I remember stopping by my parent’s house at the beginning of the night for some reason and talking to my dad in his garage. Petra gushed over his classic cars (he had two at the time, a 55-something and a 36-blah blah. My dad was like OBSESSED with her after that. It was hilarious.
(Sadly, DeeDee and I didn’t really hit it off and never hung out again, but it was still a super fun night!)
Justin (not the one I fake-married, but the one mentioned earlier) sleeping in the best booth. We could do things like that at the Denny’s on Rt. 51.
I think this was 1999, sometime in the fall.
Janna looking bored AF (in her defense, it was likely 3AM). And we were almost always there with Jon and Justin because none of us were 21 yet and it was either sit at my apartment all night or sit at Denny’s, sometimes both.
Dang, now I want a grilled cheese and coffee, really bad. (And kind of a cigarette too, ugh.)