In Edmonton, I love 24 hour diners at four in the morning.

It’s got to be four in the morning. In Edmonton, last call is 1 AM, and closing time is two. If you go to that diner at three, there’s just too many drunks. It’s like being inside a pen during feeding time. Not good.

But four, now that’s a different story. Any drunks here have killed a whole hour in order to grace us with their presence. Up past your bed time, liquored up, stretching things out for an hour is a fucking marathon. You can’t buy booze at a convenience store in Canada.

Last call don’t fuck around up there.

Too-bright lights illuminating vinyl and fake wood decor. The empty streets outside watching you back. Who’s going to slide out of their shadows to come and join us? Islands of patrons, spread out, mostly ignoring each other, but sharing the bond of being up and wanting to eat greasy food at the extreme edge of human scheduling.

Always that titillating edge of menace. Is someone here crazy? Are the drunks at that table going to get in a fight with each other?

Is the double date over there going to resolve itself? The cute girl wants to fuck and her surly friend is white-knuckling it; not taking the hint that it’s time for her to get a cab home alone. The pussy blocking girl’s male counterpart is sleeping on the table; a good wingman to the end, holding on for as long as it takes so that his man can get his dick wet.

The alchemy of human chemistry playing out. Is there any gold to be had here?

My cheeseburger with a side of curly fries and gravy has arrived. Sure, warm that coffee up for me. I can’t get enough of you calling me “hon.”

Time to tuck in. Nothing’s ever going to taste better.

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