Neil and Kate

December 13, 2007
Neil and Kate pulled into the street light lit parking lot. They turned into a parking spot and walked out of the car. They walked toward a small, wooden restaurant. The sign read, “John’s Place”, but the illumination had long since burnt out.

Neil opened the door for Kate, and then followed her in. They both approached the podium where a hostess would normally seat them. However, the hostess had gone home for the evening, and only one waitress was working.

The silver haired night shift waitress, Maude, put out her cigarette behind the counter and made her way to the front. She grabbed two menus, and addressed Neil and Kate monotonously , “Right this way.”

She led them to a large booth, meant for about six people, in the far corner of the room. She set down two menus, and walked away silently.

Neil and Kate opened the menus simultaneously, and only glanced at it briefly. They ordered the same thing every time anyhow.

“What are you going to get?” asked Neil. “Pancakes and milk,” said Kate with a smile, “How about you?” “I think I’m going to get French toast and coffee.”

“Again?” asked Kate. “I don’t know, it’s the only thing that sounds good right now!” said Neil. Kate gave a small laugh.

After a few minutes Maude made her way over. “You ready yet?” she asked. They put in their respective orders, and she hastily scrawled it on her receipt book. She took the menus, and walked away again without a word.

“So, the register was like 30 bucks short tonight.” said Jane. “Oh yeah? That sucks.” said Neil.

“You and I both know Jonathan did it. He was the only one with a key to the register besides Stacy. I mean, you know his girlfriend left him, and took everything with her last week.”
“That’s terrible. It seems like he would, too. Does Stacy suspect him?” asked Neil.

“I don’t know,” she said, “I mean, she’s not stupid, but maybe she’s trying to see the best in him or whatever. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.”

“I guess, it’s just sad that it’s making Stacy’s life harder. I mean, she works so hard already. She’s a like a machine.” said Neil.

“I know, I could never do what she does! I bet Jonathan doesn’t realize what exactly he’s doing to her.” said Kate.

“Or care.” said Neil.

“ I know.” Replied Kate with a small laugh.

Maude brought over their drinks. “Oh, that’s mine.” said Neil, pointing to the coffee. They traded drinks. “Can I have some cream?” he asked Maude.

“We’re out.”

“Ok, can I just get some milk, for my coffee then?” he asked.

“We’re out.” She said.

“What are you talking about? You just gave her milk.” He said, pointing to Kate.

“That was the last carton.”

He looked at her skeptically. “Umm, okay.”

“We’ll get more tomorrow.” She replied. Oh, that helps Neil thought.
“You can have some of mine,” Kate offered, as Maude walked away. “Thanks.” Said Neil.

Kate picked up a small flip stand by the window. It had pictures of desserts, house specialties, and a list of cheap wines on each card. She flipped through the cards. She saw one, and handed Neil the stand.

It was advertising a kid’s meal special they had coming up for Halloween. You could get your kid’s meal in a plastic bucket, that could be reused as a trick or treat candy holder. On it, was a loveable depiction of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

“Did you know that in the 70’s Jacques Costeau organized an underwater expedition of this lake in California. I think it’s called Lake Tahone or something. Anyway, he was called in because there had been tons of sightings of this sea monster, only her name was Tessie, instead of Nessie, over the years.

"So he goes down there, and when he comes back up, naturally, they ask, “What did you see?” and he replies, “Humanity is not ready for what I saw down there.”

“That’s trippy!” Replied Neil.

“I know! And he never said what he saw down there; never released the photos or data, nothing. He took it to his grave.”

“I wonder if he really did see that ‘Tessie’.” Pondered Neil, “I don’t know if I believe in the Loch Ness Monster, personally. I mean, there’s no way there’s just one, it’s just simple genetics. There’d need to be a few hundred to dilute the gene pool, otherwise the kids would end up all retarded. And say there is that many, how could we have not caught one by now? Statistically speaking of course.”
“Well, I heard about that one giant shark, Megamouth, off of Hawaii. That was just a myth, until less than 40 years ago, when the Navy caught one.” Replied Kate.
“Yeah, but that’s in the ocean. It’s huge. With Loch Ness, you can see from one end to the other.”
“I guess.” said Kate. “There’s just too many sightings for there not to be something to it.”
“You know what I’ve always found interesting?” said Neil. “All of the paranormal activity in the Church. I mean, they swear up and down that ghosts don’t exist and things if that nature, but look at Exorcism. I mean, it comes directly from the Church! And demonic possession seems a hell of a lot more far fetched, and evil, than ghosts.”
“Yeah! You ever hear of those weeping statues of Jesus?”
“Yep, and seeing Mother Mary on toast.” added Neil.
“I know,” Kate laughed, “those things sell for thousands on eBay. It’s nuts.”
“ I told you they’re crazy. They’re looking for salvation in all the wrong places. I wouldn’t want to worship a deity who chooses to prove his existence through breakfast.” said Neil.
Kate laughed.
“Another one I like is all the elusions to aliens in the Bible. Actually, in my art history class, we looked at this painting called “Mystical Nativity” from, like 1501. It’s a really busy painting, but you can clearly see a saucer in the top right. There’s a few others out there, most of them have saucer shaped objects in the sky beaming lights on Jesus, or Mary. It all kinda creeped me out.
“But in the book of Nehemiah, there’s a passage that UFO theorists suggest proves Aliens were in the Bible. They say it was a UFO that parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites. The verse doesn’t say UFO, but it does say “A pillar of light and smoke”, and “Cloud by day, fire by night”
“That makes sense though, a UFO’s exhaust during the day, and it’s all lit up at night.” said Kate.
“Exactly. And some even say that Jesus himself was an Alien. Supposedly a UFO, not a star, led the three Wise Men to Bethlehem. And all of his miracles were advanced Alien technology, and his ascent into heaven after the crucifixion was actually him being beamed up to the mothership.

“Oh, and another thing. Jesus was born to a virgin, because his race implanted their alien baby into her.” said Neil.

“Sounds like something out of a really cheesy horror film.” Kate laughed. “I don’t believe it, but it does sound plausible”.

She looked to the kitchen, “Where is our waitress? I’m starving.”

Neil looked around. “There she is.” He said. He jerked his head toward the payphones by the restrooms. She still had her trademark droopy eyes and hard,
expressionless face, however, she did not look like she would be getting off the phone anytime soon.

“Great.” Together, they laughed. They were used to Maude’s almost comically bad service. “Look,” said Kate, and pointed toward the kitchen. “Our food’s ready.”

“Yeah, but she’s not.” Said Neil.
When she felt like it, she brought them their 1am breakfast, cigarette hanging from her mouth.

She set down the plates. “Enjoy.” She said, and walked away. She went between the kitchen and register, and leaned against the counter. She took the last few drags of her cigarette and smashed it out in a full ashtray.

“God, I hate my job.” She said, with a sad sigh.

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