Breakfast at Denny's
Essay by: Macaroni Mario
Sitting alone at a Denny’s. At my age, I feel that I should be at home with my wife and kids. I suppose some might envy my position and my lot in life: single, no commitments, no strings, etc. As the saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side”.
I think about the Scripture from Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of GOD, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. I seek worldly things, not heavenly things. The unbeliever knows nothing about the kingdom of GOD. He can blindly continue his life the way he sees fit and not worry himself about being righteous.
I lust for gold. My gold is my soul mate: my wife, my family, my house, my career. How can I call myself a follower if I lust for these worldly items? “Take no thought for the morrow”, Matthew 6:34 says, tomorrow will take care of itself. My humanness cannot grasp this. I see couples walking together, side by side, but they walk alone. I see no hands being held, no smiles and giggles, no kissing and staring into each others’ eyes. They are simply walking side by side, but they walk alone. I see one looking one way and the other looking another way. What do they think? Is she happy? Does he wish he was with another woman? Does she want to text or call someone that caught her eye earlier that day? Is he thinking of a reason to leave the house alone later? What are they thinking? “The grass is greener on the other side”! The great tragedy of our lifetime: it’s never greener. My waitress and some others say things happen for a reason. You sat next to her on the bus and struck up a conversation and now, she’s been your wife for ten years. Nothing happens by accident, and then can we accept our “grass”? Can you accept your grass: green, brown, patchy, muddy? My grass. What’s yours?
Yes, I pray. I pray every night. I also pray in the morning and during the day. I’ve gotten so that I “pray without ceasing”. But, I’m not praying for the understanding of the kingdom of GOD. I’m not praying for the Prince of Peace to take over my every waking moment for compassion of my fellow man. I pray for a wife. I pray for a godly woman to love me. I pray that she finds me now.; I’ve lived my past with women I called “wife” and children that were mine and my responsibility but, I never appreciated them. I was a victim of the “grass is greener” syndrome. I abandoned them. I want to say that I’ve learned from my mistakes but, have I? Two women here in town both around my age, both from different backgrounds, both were engaged to me. Both of these women left me without warning. I cried. I was so heartbroken that I cried for days and weeks afterwards. I knew that they had made a mistake! I knew that if they would just talk to me, we could straighten all this out! But, here I am: pancakes, bacon and eggs and a coke at Denny’s – by myself. They both requested I stop sending messages, texts and emails. They both moved on. I stopped.
I talk kindly to the waitress: a very beautiful black woman, tall, shapely and I quickly change from lustful salutations to kind gentlemanly exchanges. The restaurant is mostly empty. It is nearly one in the afternoon. A young family is finishing up, a dreadlocked man is directed to his booth and the bell from the kitchen rings for the next finished order to be taken to its’ waiting guest. I sit alone. But, don’t feel sorry for me. I had my chance.
Hell. I had three chances. I smoked them all. My self-medicating lifestyle was too loud and too fast even for me. Today, I want to say, “God, I’ve learned my lesson. Look! I’m not smoking now and I’m not blowing my mind on dope and women”! But, I had my chances. Yes, I believe God loves me. He loves us all. But, we need to pay for our sins – consequences. My mother thinks I will live out the rest of my life alone. She hopes that I find someone, but, she doubts I will. She’s been alone since dad passed away some eighteen or nineteen years ago.
I pay for my breakfast at the front counter. The manager, an overweight white woman, is on the phone and she’s not even paying attention to me. She stares through me out towards the glare of the window. I pay my six dollars and forty nine cent tab with a twenty. The waitress gives me a smile and a polite wave. The manager hands me back my change: a ten, three ones and coins. I take the three singles and walk over to the waitress. I’m determined to walk out of there with my ten-spot! Seeing her name clicked and adhered to a generic nametag, I call her by her name. “Quick, Yvonne”. I tell her. “Tell me something unique about you”! I demanded.
“Well”, she started. “I was in an abusive relationship a couple years ago when I finally broke it off. But, after a year, he found me and broke into my apartment and shot me five times! I used to be real quiet but now, I feel a whole lot better about myself when I tell people about it. It’s therapeutic for me”. She smiles. Just like that, my lonely breakfast wasn’t so bad. I was crying over being alone but, she – with a smile on her face, told me she had been shot five times and survived. Yes. Things DO happen for a reason. I handed her the ten-spot, told her thanks and walked out. I put the three singles in MY pocket. She deserves a nice tip. God bless you, Yvonne.
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