Time to Settle Accounts
January 1, 2013: Because it’s cold out there.
“I need food!” Train grumbled after Rose left. The New Years party had ended up back at my place, and after we all said goodbye to Rose in the morning, the group was down to me, Train, MJ, and Rota. “Breakfast,” he specified, “I must have breakfast.”
“How about Hollywood Grill?” MJ asked. “We have to drop Train at Shannon’s anyway, so we can have a fun little New Years Day adventure and then take him over.”
“That’s fine,” said Rota. I nodded too, and we walked to my dad’s car, which MJ was borrowing. The cold air was sharp on our faces – Train was dressed as if he were still in Los Anteles – and we blasted the heat and drove to Hollywood.
Hollywood was packed, so we headed toward Shannon’s and found a spot down by her, parked, and hustled through the cold. But it was 12:30 and they were done serving breakfast. I suggested Manny’s for corned beef, but the three of them insisted on breakfast.
After our third failed attempt, we hustled back to the car to warm up and reconfigure. MJ found the White Palace Grill, open 24 hours with breakfast anytime, and we zoomed over.
“Man, I forgot how you really can’t have any unplanned time outside in the winter,” MJ said. “You can just freeze.”
We got to White Palace, parked, and walked up. Train, in his short-sleeved L.A. vest, power walked ahead of us. At the door was a man in his mid-20s, who said something to Train, but Train shook his head and walked in. When I got to the door, the man looked at me.
“You get me some food?” he asked. He wore a puffy winter coat, square earrings, and his eyes were worn.
“Sure. What do you want?”
“With what on it?”
The wind ran up my neck. “Come on in and we’ll get something,” I said. There was a line by the door, and the host gave us the next booth. “Just grab a seat at the counter,” I told the guy. “I got you.”
The diner was packed and bustling, everyone looking like this was the long-awaited nightcap to their New Years party. We sat down in the booth, scanned the menus, and ordered some coffee along with a variety of eggs, pancakes, orange juice, toast, and some fried chicken + waffles for me. I looked over at the hungry guy, who directed the server behind the counter to look at me. “You got him?” she yelled. I nodded.
As our food came out, I saw him stand with a bag filled with perhaps three to-go boxes. His waitress brought a check over to me. 18.65. I handed her a twenty and told her to keep it. The guy nodded toward me as he walked out.
“Twenty bucks?” said Train. “Damn bro.”
“I know,” I said, “but you gotta eat.”
NEXT: Protest too much. (2.1.13)
PREVIOUS: The future. (12.21.12, as part of the 3six5 project)
PREVIOUS on readjack: Ducks in a row. (12.01.12)
On this date, 2012: Life of a party.
On this date, 2011: A new decade?