Pinky settles onto a swivel seat at the counter. He glances at his surroundings. Through the wide hole in the wall in front of him he can see a skinny old man with his back to him. The man is dressed in white—white hat, dingy white t-shirt, and white pants with grease marks across his ass and down the upper part of both legs. He appears to be tending to something on the grill in front of him—something Pinky cannot see. Between the hole in the wall and the door on the left hangs a dry erase board. Hand written on the board are the specials of the day, at least Pinky thinks they’re the specials of this day. The words could have been hastily written on the board anytime in the past. “Ham and eggs—6.99, BLT—7.99, Liver and onions—12.99.” Pinky thinks the ham and eggs will probably suit him just fine, but he pulls a plastic coated menu from the holder on the counter and opens it. The breakfast section on the left hand page under the smudge of catsup dried there displays just the basics—eggs with bacon, sausage, or ham, three different types of omelets, and pancakes. Not much else.
Upon looking around Pinky sees that he is the only customer in the place. The breakfast crowd is probably all at work, and it’s too early for lunch. Upon closer inspection Pinky notices that the booths are in need of repair. The tables are chipped, and many of them lean precariously to one side or the other. The benches are a red plastic of some sort, and are cracked and dirty, a couple of them sport gaping gashes where their innards appear to be trying to escape the confines of the prison that hold them captive.
“Good morning, sweetie. Coffee?” The waitress appears to be in her mid forties, but she might be younger, or she can be much older. Pinky is not good with age, and her lined face does not give any hints.
“Coffee would be great. Thank you.”
Delores, her name displayed on the tag pinned above her ample breasts on the upper right of the dull off-white uniform she wears, splashes the hot, black liquid into a chipped cup she had placed on the counter in front of Pinky. She pulls her pale green order pad from the pocket in the front of the stained apron she wears, and in her gravelly voice growls, “Have you decided on what you want, or would you like a few minutes more?”
“I’ll take the ham and eggs special.”
“How do you want your eggs?”
“I guess scrambled.”
“You want toast. We got white, wheat, or sourdough.”
“You got english muffin?”
“White, wheat, or sourdough, sugar.”
“Wheat, I guess.”
Delores tears the ticket from the pad, walks to the long hole in the wall, and sticks the piece of paper on the wheel that hangs there. She gives it a slight spin and yells, “Order up.” She then walks through the swinging door into the kitchen. The old man turns and stops the wheel with his left hand. Standing there in his food stained t-shirt he squints at the small piece of paper hanging from the wheel before him. The lines in his face tell a story that holds many secrets. He’s lived long enough to know that he is on his way down, not up, the ladder of life. As a matter of fact he is pretty sure he is on one of the last rungs on the ladder, so close to the ground that a missed step will find him six feet below the surface, or, once again, in the gutter with the snakes.
Pinky sits precariously on the wobbly stool, in the quiet, contemplating his first day on the road, and the many more to follow. He has not seen much on his short trip from Ketchum, but he has been concentrating too hard on his driving skills to notice much more than where his front tire meets the black asphalt. He is still new to all this. A few days and many miles more and things will be different. Maybe by then he’ll be able to look around at his surroundings as his big bike carries him down the road. For the time being, though, he will concentrate on getting comfortable riding the two wheeled demon.
The gravelly voiced waitress appears in front of Pinky with coffee pot in hand, and places a chipped porcelain plate overflowing with greasy eggs, undercooked potatoes, gray meat, and soggy toast in front of him. She fills his coffee cup, splashing a small quantity of the liquid acid being advertised as coffee on the counter. “Anything else?”
“No. This should do it for now.”
Delores walks back through the swinging door. Pinky sees her pick up a burning cigarette from an ashtray on the counter before the door closes on her retreating form. He is deciding whether he should tempt fate, and eat the food piled on the plate before him when his stomach rumbles with hunger. Pinky picks up his fork and stabs at the eggs.
It takes just under an hour to drive from Twin Falls, ID to Jackpot, NV. That is all the time it takes for those greasy eggs and gray tinged meat to make their unwanted presence known to the intestinal tract of poor Pinky Anderson. By the time he can make his way off Highway 93 and locate the first gas station he can find it is all Pinky can do to keep from shitting his pants. It is almost more than he can accomplish to climb off the big Goldwing and keep his sphincter muscles tightly clamped against the fluids and expanding gases that want so desperately to escape from his body. Then there are the gloves, the helmet, the leather jacket and chaps, and the locked door. Pinky waddles into the small store and begs the young Iranian behind the counter for the key to the mens’ room, promising to buy fuel for the bike and something to drink as soon as he finishes his business.
The stomach cramps almost double poor Pinky over in pain, and the odor that assaults him when he finally gets the sticky lock to release its grip on the door of the restroom makes him gag. He barely gets his pants to his ankles and his butt settled on the seat of the filthy toilet when his bowels let loose. The splash when his excrement hit the water coats Pinky’s bottom with brown liquid, but the relief he luxuriates in overrides the disgust he should have felt.
His business takes longer than he expected. Oh, emptying his bowels went quickly, but the lack of toilet paper slows him down some. With his pants down around his ankles Pinky waddles to the sink where the towel dispenser hangs. He reaches up and pulls a length of the rough brown paper from the roll, the last of the roll. This, he surmises, will not be be a pleasant experience, but the small amount of paper he clamps in his right had will have to do.
Once he cleans himself up and redresses, Pinky steers his two wheeled horse to the gas pumps out front. He returns the key without telling the clerk of the mess he has made. He figures it won’t be noticed amongst the rest of the filth in the restroom at the rear of the building. Pinky tops off the tank and rides into town, looking for a place to spend the night. He doesn’t trust his body to take him much further down the road. The beginning of his adventure can wait another day.