*the unedited rantings of a fat 43 year old menopausal ex -talk show host * -married mother of four- read at your own risk - my spelling sux (add * ocd * adhd * lmnop * suv * dvd * y not me)

3/31/2005

waffle house

in a large booth next to me
two children and an old man
tired and well-worn
his yellowed fingers hold a cigarette
with an impossibly long ash

he has greasy hair and a vacant look
i find eerily familiar
the boy is five - the girl about ten
she is chubby with a mom-did-it haircut

she sees me - looks away - then at me
then away again
i watch her feet swinging back and forth
not reaching the floor
she tries unsuccessfully
to get the old man’s attention
she never will

the waitress comes over
her name tag says Doris
she looks about seventy years old
her face has seen too many days
of sun and cigarettes

she takes my order
a waffle well done – and cold milk

people are turning towards my booth
thinking - that I look a little like me
then convincing themselves
it could not possibly be

the image of celebrity
is inconsistent with the “truth” of celebrity life

why would I be in a waffle house
in sweatpants, a ripped t-shirt
slept-in hair and no make-up

i am here to get a waffle
i hear my name whispered behind me
people assume i am deaf
i hear ya

a few minutes later,
a woman in a Publix green cashier vest,
and her hunky husband walk in
the booth comes alive
both kids now jump up
cheers of “Mommy! Daddy!”

after hugs and kisses they sit down for breakfast
the mother looks at me and smiles,
a glimmer of recognition,
but doubt wins out

her daughter says,
“mama, it’s rosie ”.
the mother smiles,
glances my way again,
and shushes her

doris brings over my waffle
the first bite is heaven
all hail the house
i want a maple syrup iv

i quietly ask doris for my check,
and for the publix moms too
she nods, hands me both
without asking why

back on the road again
i try to figure out the why
me - so compelled
no choice really

gifts are so rarely for the recipient,
so often for the giver

i remember sitting at the IHOP
after she died
watching my dad smoke and stare into space
consumed with what had become of his life
he had died too – it was plain to see
me - swinging my legs back and forth

i drive away from the Waffle House
sun on my face and tears on my cheek
i drive away from 1973
from myself - without even a hello