Why I love writing in late-night diners

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It’s 10:34 pm, and I’m sitting in a booth at the Harbor House in Dana Point, California.

Happy as shit.

I know … I know. Who’s to say shit is happy? But imagine a happy piece of shit, and that’s me.

So why do I cherish this scene so much? Honestly, I’m not sure. But I feed off the buzz, the sounds, the smells, the jukebox playing Blondie, the wood floors, the dim lights, the warped table. I like sitting in a booth, wondering who sat here before I did. I dig that the college kids are back in town, their mini-reunions holding court. I enjoy watching people—beautiful people, ugly people, short people, tall people. I embrace being here, and not being in bed. That this is my job—really, this is my job!—and writing in diners is what I’m paid to do.

I think it’s funny that a Billy Idol song just came on. I think it’s funny that my waiter has ugly earrings and a funky haircut. I think it’s awesome that my grilled cheese with fries just arrived. I think it’s musical to hear the staff call patrons “Honey” and “Babe” and “Sweetie.”

This is my happy spot.

Always has been.

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