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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

@Hardee's in Portsmouth

(NOTE: The piece below was written originally on a yellow post-it note by yours truly who happened to be dining out @ Hardee's in Portsmouth, Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 @0855. I snapped a number photos (which basically reflected on what I've described below) while having breakfast. I'll see if I can embed them here with this piece.)

@Hardee's in Portsmouth, On a Fall Tuesday Morning

On a Fall Tuesday morning
@Hardee's in Portsmouth
there's laughter heard
in one corner
where an older couple sat 
as they're enjoying their coffee
and breakfast platter, I guess
(I got one, too, with cinnamon-raisin biscuit and coffee.)

Majority of the diners, I see, today
(with exception to one or two old black men)
they're mostly white old couples
I believe they're retirees
senior citizens, they say,
already in their golden years.

Now on another table
sat quietly another white couple
eating their egg-bacon sandwiches
while I'm jotting down these lines
on an adjacent table, alone
nibbling, enjoying every bite
of my cinnamon-raisin biscuit
made from scratch, they say.

Then one white woman stood up
from her dining table
to dump her trash
in a designated area
next to another table
this white old couple
facing each other
I can tell, they're done
dining, now lounging.

Once in a while,
there's this look,
a meaningful stare
of the old man facing me...
it's that suspicious look
one that's interpretative
one that can be misinterpreted
but wait, his white spouse
turned her head around
and saw me...
and then our eyes met
"Good morning," she said
smilingly, as she got up 
from their table...
I smiled, too, reciprocating
"Good morning."

What a change of mood,
what a change of atmosphere!
I felt good and contented,
"Thank God," I thought...

Well, on the other hand, what is it
that senior citizens stoop down
a lot nowadays
now that they're aged and old 
but still active and able
and capable?

They're looking down
with anxious, serious faces
(not many of them smiling anymore)
while other younger diners
when they come in to the restaurant
they look up or straight
and they always seem preoccupied,
in haste, in a hurry, with no time 
for them to waste...
why is this?

Ah, nevertheless, there's peace
and order and civility and camaraderie
@Hardee's in Portsmouth
on this Fall Tuesday morning
there's that fellowship
there's that sense 
of serenity 
freedom and independence
among diners there...
though it's a reality
to each his/her own
that's what I see-witness
as an immigrant-turned U.S. citizen
who served in and retired from the military.

Copyright 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

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