In my world travels, I happened upon a society that was very peculiar. I couldn’t say exactly how, but I was drawn to them. I didn’t quite fit in, but I couldn’t make myself leave either. It was very strange indeed.
Upon my arrival, I noticed that they didn’t have any hotels, motels or Inns. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew I was getting hungry, so I stopped at the local diner. I was greeted by everyone – workers and patrons alike. I took a seat at the bar and ordered a club sandwich with fries and a chocolate milkshake. “You might want to look at the menu, honey.” The waitress said. “We don’t serve anything like that.”
How could a diner not have club sandwiches and chocolate milkshakes? I opened the menu – it was only two pages. I looked around. Had I mistakenly walked into a health food place? No, it was a diner all right, but the only things on the menu were meat, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. “I guess I’ll have a wrap with turkey, tomato and lettuce. Could you put a little mayo on it as well.”
“Never mind. What do you have to moisten it a bit?”
“Oil and vinegar?”
“Okay, I’ll have that. And to drink…” I flipped the menu to the back page for a list of beverages. “I’ll have a strawberry smoothie.”
“Commin’ right up.” She said with a smile.
Once she had placed my order, she came back and introduced herself. “Names Doris, by the way. Your new around here, huh?”
“What gave it away?”
“You just passin’ though, or will you be with us for a while?”
“I was actually planning to stay for a few days, but I didn’t see any hotels.”
“What’s a hotel?”
“Are you serious? A hotel is a place that you can stay when you’re passing through a place.”
“Oh no, we don’t have anything like that. Around here, we just stay at someone’s house.”
“But, I don’t know anyone here.”
“That doesn’t matter. They’ll put you up for as long as you want. They’ll feed you too and if you need clothes or something, they can provide that.”
“How much does it cost?”
She looked at me with a bewildered expression on her face. “Nothing.”
“A stranger is going to put me up for free?”
“Yeah, how do you do it?”
“I pay for a hotel.”
“Well, then this is better, right?”
“I’ll let you know.” I was skeptical to say the least. I love my space and I was not really happy to have to live with a stranger for any length of time. “So, do I just start making random calls from the phone book, or what?”
Before I know what she was doing, Doris made an announcement to the entire diner. “Hey, folks! Does anyone have a room for this young lady?”
There were about 4 different responses. They all laughed and then calmly, very politely decided that Dominick and his wife, Lacy would be my caretakers. They sidled up next to me at the bar. I was already hating this.
We exchanged pleasantries and they left me with directions to their house and a key to the front door! They said to come and go as I pleased. My room is the first one on the right at the top of the steps. I sat and stared at them as they left the diner. I kept watching the empty doorway long after they had gone.
“Here’s your food, sweetie pie.” Doris said.
I ate in silence, trying to digest what had just happened along with my food.
9 months ago