Our minds lie to us. They twist facts and distort reality. Lies become truth. Dreams become life. Images change over time. Once when I was a little girl, my father took me to a small, old-fashioned diner.
Its location is odd to me. Sitting in the middle of a stretch of road, with barely even a house to call it’s neighbor, this diner is all chrome. We sit on bar stools at the counter while the others sit in pink cushioned booths. We eat ice cream and drink soda.
I sense my grandpa in this place. Maybe when I was too young to remember, he came with us also. Today is a treat. I’ve been riding in the truck with my dad all day. We woke while the hush of sleep still hung over our town. I stared at the stars before climbing steps taller than me. As I sit in the cab, I doze against the soft pillow I’ve brought along. We watch the sun come up together. We watch the world around us slowly wake as more cars began to pass us. I wonder where they are going, what important business they have to complete today.
Hours later we’ve delivered the last load and we just happen to be near this glorious, chrome-fronted diner. It strikes me as odd that there are only two other customers in the whole place. The quiet unnerves me even more. Shouldn’t I hear the sizzling of grease on the griddle? Shouldn’t I hear a cook yelling orders to others and a waitress asking when her orders will be ready?
The other customers watch us enter with curious eyes. We go to the counter and take our seats. A kind-eyed, hunch-backed old man placed his hands on the counter and grins.
“What can I get you folks?” My dad places our order, a root beer float for him and an ice cream sundae for me. The old man nods as he stands straight and wipes his hands on his towel.
The rest of the memory is hazy, as if nothing matters for the rest of the day. Even the driving we’ve done during the day is not completely clear. Nothing mattered that day but eating ice cream in a diner with my dad.
The haziness, the silence and emptiness of the diner, the curious looks of the other patrons, these all contribute to the idea that this may be a dream. The fact that I can’t find a diner in that area. The fact that my dad only remembers one and it was not chrome-fronted. The fact that I sensed my grandpa there when, more than likely, he had never been to that place with us. These all lead me to believe that I dreamt this memory. How vivid our minds see our dreams!