I heard someone say that the diner boys will never leave this town, and they’ll never make it much farther than the Hudson river line. It seems melodramatic to say but I know deep down that the cups of coffee and the late night laughs and the company they keep is just a way they use to escape being sad, and all they really want is some purpose, a life, a pretty girl to hold their hands at night, and motivation to change and to not just keep sliding back into those old habits and keep making those same fucking mistakes, again and again. And they joke and laugh about other kids and how much better they’ve got it figured out, but sometimes student loans and canoli cream make them want to scream and waitresses who seem 60 (when we know they’re 40) make them think with unspoken concern that Maybe someday that’s us, with a useless degree and debts they can’t pay and the government making it 90 dollars a day just to walk in the doors of Saint Barnabas, woah- The last of the boomers rode the American victory in Europe all the way to Iraq, where there are no victories any more. Now there’s just kids with brain damage who can’t sleep right at night, and have trouble trusting people so they can’t find the jobs, just end up divorced or move to Maine or someplace to try to dull the pain, New world order, for the scared and uncertain future of the diner boys who drown themselves every night in cups of hot brown coffee and small-town gossip and big-world news, and everyday the New York Times tells them They’re bound to lose, and so they say that maybe Someday they’ll become an actor or maybe a farmer, move to LA and Get away from New Jersey, Those diner boys have got it all figured out- the world is a psychopath, and if you don’t laugh you end up sad, but even they have to leave the diner sometime, and go back home where nothing’s all right and money is tight and it’s not very funny At all. I heard someone say They let the animals out of the cages at night in the Bronx, And Lions and Apes stalk the dark streets in Fordham. It was probably a joke, but it made me think, whatever will become of those diner boys who love the rain and Hate to go back home? Will they make it somehow, and find a way to survive those wild and lonely nights, where the Animals are loose and dreams can seem
kind of stupid.