At this hour of the morning, before the
main of humanity has awakened from its slumber, Main Street, a
product of those who sleep, is largely silent and still. The stores
along Main—Irvin's Hardware; Andee Miller's beauty shoppe; the
Laundromat—are still locked, their window shades pulled to. Even at
Harvey's Diner, the sign is flipped to Closed. But at Harvey's
the lights are on inside. A warm glow flows through the diner like a
heartbeat and spills through the glass of the front door and onto the
Bleary-eyed waitresses bustle around
inside, tying aprons around waists gone soft, setting out paper
placemats, putting on pots of coffee. Deidree Hazlett suddenly pauses
in her work and laughs, slack-jawed. She folds herself neatly in half
and holds onto her sides.
"Ain't nuthin' that funny at this
hour of t'day," Winnie Jamison observes before returning to the
handful of spoons she's buffing.
"Something funny happened at
"Why you still working there?"
Dee shrugs. "Easy enough commute.
And the parking's free." She laughs. Six days a week after she
clocks out of her job at Harvey's, Deidree walks down the sidewalk to
Andee's to spend the next seven hours of her day trimming the hair of
little boys while their anxious mothers look on. Dee sets hair in
tight rollers. She bleaches. She dyes. She gives eyebrows their shape
and listens to the heartache of others until she feels she will
burst. "Timmy's fiance came around yesterday."
Winnie blanches. "Vera?" She
sets down the spoons. "Oh, honey. I'm so sorry..."
Dee waves away the comment. "Came
in wearing an old...I don't know...a sombrero or something."
Her eyes twinkle. She walks to the window and stares out at the
stars. "Live gives us so many chances," she says. "You
just have to reach out and grab one for yourself."
"When you gonna' do that, honey?"
"Gene's a liar, Dee. You need to
wake up to that. He ain't never gonna go to work. Why should he, when
he's got you doing two jobs?"
"Vera got herself one of them home
dye jobs. Got it off the pharmacy clearance rack for ninety-nine
"You get what you pay for,"
Dee laughs. "Oh she got it all
right. Fused her hair together. Matted it down like Trixie Bell's
Winnie frowns. "Trixie's got one
of them wiener dogs."
"No. It died. She was so upset,
her daddy bought her a Hungarian sheepdog." She goes behind the
counter and pulls a photograph from her purse. "See?"
"Oh my Lord. How does she keep
that thing in kibble?" Winnie says, studying the picture.
"Vera's hair was all matted down,
just like that."
Winnie nods. "She got herself into
a fine tangled mess, didn't she?"
Deidree nods and blinks.
"Why you cryin', honey? Timmy
ain't no better than Gene is anyhow. Get both them men out of your
hair and all your problems will disappear."
"I got me a baby by Timmy,
"Oh, Lord." Winnie sighs and
sinks into a booth.
Deidree walks to the window watching
the stars wink out, one by one. She flips the sign to open as the
inhabitants of Main Street awaken and gather at the diner to prepare
for yet another day.
prompt exchange this week, Kirsten Piccini
at http://www.thekircorner.com gave
me this prompt: "Some men are just harder to get rid of…"
This line is from the sub-title of a book by Jennifer Crusie entitled
Rid of Bradley in
which Harvey's Diner and a bad dye job are featured.I
gave The Baking Barrister at www.thebakingbarrister.com this
prompt: tulips and daffodils in January
Labels: Fiction, flash fiction, scriptic.org, writing prompts