Stuck In a Diner – Part 1

This will probably be a short post, I’m amazed that I still get signal here. I can’t think of a single reason why I would. The signal goes in and out, so I figured I’d post here while I have it.
Just a few hours ago, I was driving home from visiting some family a few states away, and I took a detour to avoid some traffic on the highway. I ended up along some old gravel road. I didn’t have any idea where I was, but decided to keep driving anyway as it was getting dark out. I pulled out my cell phone hoping it would have enough signal for the GPS to work, but it didn’t, so I tossed it over on the passenger seat. Giving a frustrated sigh, I focused on the road ahead.

Ding, ding! A sound rang out from somewhere behind the dashboard of my car, and I felt the feeling of dread wash over me. A red warning flashed telling me I was low on gas, and right next to it was a needle barely hovering over the E on my gas gauge. Great, I must have forgotten to fill the tank up before I left. I’m sure any of you reading this who have gotten lost at night while driving and have witnessed this happen understand how I was feeling. I kept on driving, hoping to find a place to get gas. Sitting here writing this, I wish I had just stopped and tried to call for help on my cell phone.

Seemingly out of nowhere, I saw a flashing neon sign. Leo’s Diner, it read. Before I knew it, I saw the building the sign was for. It was dark out, but the inside was brightly lit. I thought it was one of those diners open all day and night. The next thing I saw lifted my spirits. A gas pump was right next to the diner. Relieved, I slowed down and pulled into the lot and up next to the pump. I got out, fumbling for my wallet as I did. I pulled out my credit card, but there was no slot for it on the machine. There actually wasn’t any way to put money into the machine. I shrugged, assured myself that I could just pay someone inside the diner, and walked towards the door. As I got closer, the lights from inside illuminated the front of the diner and the cars parked in front of it.
It looked like something from a different decade, maybe the 1950’s or 60’s. The front of the diner was like one of those old train cars, constructed out of grey metal. The cars in front were all huge cars that one might see in a museum. There was a blue Cadillac convertible, a red truck, and some other green car I didn’t recognize. Maybe there was some sort of classic car club meeting here. I walked in the door, and a nice little bell rang out, alerting the people of my presence.

It was pretty empty inside. Just the waitress behind the counter and a cook somewhere in the back. There was a man in a suit sitting in the corner, with his hat on the table and his nose in a newspaper. I couldn’t see the headlines from the door. There was also a woman in a dress sitting a few rows away staring down into a steaming cup of coffee in her hands. There were a few empty cups at the table in front of her. When I walked in, they all stopped what they were doing and looked at me for a few seconds before resuming their activities. Something was off about the whole thing but I couldn’t place it.

“Excuse me, I need some gas for my car outside.” I held out a 20 dollar bill and walked towards the waitress.

She didn’t even blink, but just stared down at the dish she was preparing. I asked again, assuming she hadn’t heard me.

“Excuse me, I’m a bit lost and need some gas. My car’s almost empty.”

She slowly glanced up at me and her eyes met mine. I saw a look of pain and sadness in them that sent shivers down my spine. When she spoke, her voice was very monotonous and slightly muffled, almost as if she was in a trance.

“There is no gas here. Hasn’t been for a long time.” She said, resuming her work.

“Are you sure? The pump’s right outside?” I asked in a slightly raised tone of voice.

“No gas. No gas.” She repeated slowly, her hands continued to work.

I was getting creeped out, but I went over to the man reading the paper and asked if he could give me a lift to get some gas. He didn’t even raise his eyes, just stared at whatever article he was reading.

I sighed, and slumped into a booth at the other side of the diner. I am still sitting there now, writing this on my laptop. That man is still reading the same page of his paper, it’s really strange.

Why don’t I leave? You may be asking this question. The truth is, there isn’t anywhere I can go really. I can’t get gas for my car, and who knows how far I’d have to walk to get help or gas. I’ve decided to just wait here for someone else to drive by or stop in and try to get help from them.
Oh, my signal is starting to go again, its hard to write a lot at a time. I’ll have to post this and wait until I get it back to explain more. If there’s any way you guys can reach me, I’ll take whatever advice I can get right now. I’ll try to check back here every so often. For now I’ll just take a quick nap.

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