Syrup and jizz. The musk of a hot Denny’s at 11:30 A.M. on Sunday when the post-fuck crowd rolls in. It’s how he’d always described it. Because Saturday night in the Big City is the Hookup Olympics and now here are the medalists.
He’s there in a booth alone with paper. A young writer ten weeks removed from employment. He thought he’d get paid to write some good pages, drift into parties in the meantime. There are TV shows where guys do that. Now he’s wondering why the fuck people keep believing TV shows. He was hot online during the summer. The Wolf of WordPress. So he dropped his notice and then it turned into fall and now here he is, on the other side of a happy ending. The blog got cold and now a big splurge is a $2.79 coffee. The price of admission to sit among humans and listen to their dialogue and steal it; his characters need it. Instead he just feels feel superior to it. These American urbanites are assembly-line rolloffs and they exchange shitty, shitty dialogue. Girls talking about “Insta.” Guys with Macklemore haircuts reciprocate with grunts. They are probably all named Ryan. This is the last time the writer comes to Denny’s. There’s not a less inspiring place in the universe.
It’s not like he can afford it anyway. Marinara sauce back home in the pantry is rationed out like this is World War Fucking II. He’s seven weeks out from living in the park. Because he doesn’t have it. The head that people will pay to get words out of. He almost has it—he’s so close—but he doesn’t. And it’s a game of absolutes. Well OK then. Back to pleated khakis. Maybe an office with blue jean Fridays if he’s lucky.
Now there’s a new tone in the ambiance. It’s instantly familiar. Holy shit, it’s Emma. It’s Emma. She’s a club girl now. She knows better; why is she a club girl. A 21st century manwhore will tire of you faster than a Top 40 song. She takes the booth behind him. He hears a grunt and car keys dropping on the table. Car keys: Christ, the guy she’s with has a fucking job. And then there’s her voice. She’s trying to deepen it, and she’s trying to make him laugh. Of course she is, he has a job. Meanwhile the writer just has a head full of free fluff. The luck is all gone. He knows the score by now. Every thought he has ever had has been dumber than the one before it.
Emma says: It smells like syrup and jizz in here. And her guy laughs. That’s perfect, he says. And the writer looks into his mug and a smile forms on his face, for the first time this season.