Late at night.
The roads closed ahead.
People pulled over. Sleeping in cars. Engines still running because it was cold.
And one diner. Open all night.
Long since out of pie. Long since out of burgers.
They had coffee (which I don't drink). And some other stuff with caffeine.
And I sat in a booth for hours. Crammed with three others, people I didn't know.
They talked. I listened. A little.
They talked more. I stared out the window.
Watched the snow.
And wondered. Waited. Watched.
Around 4am a State Trooper came in. Said the rode was open. Or would be.
The men stumbled from booth to cash register.
I stayed behind. Still happy to be warm.
Not wanting to go out to the cold car yet.
Not wanting to clear the windshield. Or wait for the heater to kick in. Or wait behind the trucks and the cops for the road to open.
The waitress came over. Brought me some toast. It was the only thing the kitchen still had.
Tried to give me coffee. But I don't drink coffee.
She eyed me funny. Looked me up and down.
"Maybe you should wait until first light then."
So I did.