I stop at the same restaurant for breakfast four or five days a week and for lunch maybe twice. There are a lot of regulars that frequent the place and I don't know half of them even though I've seen most of them off and on for the last fifteen years. It was a case of 'you know who they are but you don't know them.' You see them often enough to nod at them and say "Good morning" but it rarely goes any farther than that.
You see them often enough to observe their character traits and idiosyncrasies and some of them can be pretty entertaining to watch. There is the cop who comes in and sits in the same booth every day. If he comes in and some one else is sitting in that particular booth he will sit at the counter even if there are other booths and tables empty and drink coffee and read the morning paper until "his" booth becomes available and then he will move to it and order his breakfast. I've seen him sit at the counter for almost an hour waiting for that booth.
Then there is the guy who comes in and drinks coffee while watching for some one who is reading a newspaper to get up, pay their bill and go leaving their paper behind then he is up like a shot to get that paper. He will not order his breakfast until he has someone else's newspaper to read while he eats.
A guy named Al has come in every morning for the last nine years and he orders the same thing every morning (at least he does on the mornings I'm there). He orders two pancakes and a side of bacon. When the pancakes come he lifts off the top one and smothers the bottom one with catsup and Tabasco sauce and then puts the top one down and covers it with jelly instead of syrup. Every day for nine years!
There is a man named Toby who owns two apartment buildings and who comes in every morning and goes from booth to booth and table to table sitting down and saying "Hi" to everyone while waiting for someone to offer to buy him a cup of coffee.
There is a woman named Alice who works at city hall and who comes in once or twice a week wearing low cut blouses, high heels, short skirts and no underpants. She always sits at a table where she can be seen by a good half of the people in the restaurant and then she sits down and spreads her legs wide so everyone can see what she has. Guys who think it is a 'come on' and who have approached her get hot coffee thrown in their laps. Jerry Anderson, who also works at city hall says that when Alice gets to work she changes into long dresses or slacks. I guess she must get off on teasing a whole room full of guys.
There are dozens more, but the one who changed my life was Jeff Standish. Jeff never did anything to call attention to himself unless you want to call wearing a hat an attention getter. Then again, I guess that it was. It did get my attention.
Jeff always wore a hat and it was always the same hat. A black, wide brimmed Stetson - what some call a 'cowboy hat.' Tank top and cutoffs and the black hat. Jeans and a tee shirt and the black hat. Suit and a tie and the black hat. Jeff rode a racing bike and he wore those dumb looking skin tight Speedo things that bike riders wear and he came into the restaurant one day wearing them and the black hat. You get the picture? If you saw Jeff you saw the black hat. It got to the point where you automatically checked out Jeff when he came in to see if that was the day he came in hatless, wearing a baseball cap or some other style of head gear.
Whatever — this whole ramble is only to point out why I was always checking out Jeff.
It was a Wednesday and I walked into the restaurant and saw Jeff sitting in a booth towards the back. No change, still the black hat. He was talking to some one I couldn't see since whoever it was was sitting lower down than the back of the booth. I saw John and Mike sitting at the large round table against the back wall so I joined them. When I sat down I was facing the front door and I was able to see who was sitting with Jeff. A super-fine, very hot looking blonde!
As I sat there drinking coffee and talking to John and Mike while waiting for Tiffany to bring me my steak and eggs I kept glancing over at Jeff's booth. No — not true — I was looking over at the blonde. You ever see some one, know that you know them from somewhere, but just can't quite pin down from where? That's what I was getting from the blonde. She was vaguely familiar. I knew, just knew I'd seen her somewhere and try as I might I could not remember where or when. And that was very disquieting because there was no way on God's Green Earth that I should have ever forgotten something that smoking hot!
John and Mike left and shortly after Jeff and the blonde got up to leave and I got a good look at the total package. Five two and maybe a hundred and five pounds. Nice tits and a fantastic ass. Long blonde hair down to the middle of her back; all in all one hot looking babe. I finished my breakfast, had one more cup of coffee and then I headed off to work.
Friday morning I was sitting in the restaurant when Jeff came in and my eyes automatically went to his head. I saw that nothing had changed; he still had on the black hat. He sat down at a table and about five minutes later the blonde came in and sat down with him. I wondered about that. Outside of the fact that I just knew that I knew her from somewhere I knew that Jeff was gay so what was the story behind the stone fox sitting with him. I sipped and kept looking at the blonde until it was time for me to head off to the salt mine.
It was Tuesday before I went back to the restaurant. As I parked I saw Jeff getting out of his pick up and I checked him out — still wearing the black hat, Ten minutes after Christy put my breakfast down in front of me the blonde came in and joined Jeff. When Christy brought me my ticket I asked her if she knew who the blonde was.
"That's Candy, Jeff's sister."
"Way. Big change huh?"
Suddenly I knew why the blonde had looked familiar and why I couldn't believe I couldn't remember a girl that drop dead gorgeous. The last time I had seen Candy had been about three years previous and she had been — to put it bluntly — fat! Imagine five two and two hundred and twenty-five plus pounds and you had the Candy I remembered. Oh well, mystery solved and I had one less thing bouncing around in my head and bugging me.
But it didn't end there. For some reason, known only to Christy and God, Christy started to tease me. I came in for breakfast one morning and Christy said:
"You just missed your girlfriend."
"Who?" I asked a little on the confused side since I didn't have a girl friend.
"Candy. She just left and she was looking good this morning."
Instead of shrugging and going to a table I said, "Damn! Of all the bad luck" and that got the ball rolling. From then on Christy would tease me about Candy.
"Your girlfriend was in this morning. You just missed her."
"Candy was in this morning with some guy. You might be losing her."
"Candy was in this morning. She was sitting alone in a booth and she looked sad. Too bad you weren't here. You could have sat with her and cheered her up."
One morning I had just finished my breakfast when Christy came up to me and told me to hurry up and pay my bill.
"Because we are full and Candy just got here and she needs a seat so come on, let's go."
I pointed at the empty seat across from me and said, "Bring her over. I'll share."
"Up Rob, come on, let's go. You know you need to get to work anyway."
Candy was watching the play-by-play from over by the register and when I got up and left I had to walk right by her. She smiled at me and said, "Thank you."
"No need to thank me. Christy threatened me. She told me if I didn't get up she would do bad things to my breakfast the next time I came in."
That was the first time I'd ever spoken to Candy. Up till then she was just another one of the regulars you saw and just nodded a hello to.
Maybe six months went by and when I'd come into the restaurant Christy would tell me that I had just missed Candy and I would scold her for not calling me at work so I could hurry on down. Or she would tell me that Candy had just left and that she was looking super fine that morning and I would accuse her of just saying that to tease me. Once she said:
"Candy is on the other side" — (there was a wall between the two sides of the restaurant) — "and she is alone. Could be your big chance."
I looked at my watch and said, "Damn the rotten luck. I'm running late and I need to get to work. Story of my life; another opportunity lost."
And then one morning I racked it up a notch. I saw Jeff come in (and yes — still the black hat) with a wrapped present and a dozen roses in a vase. He handed the present to Christy and she took it somewhere in the back. It was common knowledge that Jeff was gay, but he never flaunted it in public so I discounted that he was meeting his lover for breakfast. I called Christy over and took a shot in the dark.
"Is today Candy's birthday?"
"Yep, and she should be here any moment now."
"I want you to do me a favor. After they eat and ask for the bill just tell Candy that it has been taken care off. Tell her that her secret admirer bought her breakfast. I'll settle up with you when I come in tomorrow. Just don't tell her who her secret admirer is, okay?"
"Oh yeah. I can do that. It will be a kick."
.... There is more of this story ...