Moving west along Route 80 in the driving rain, we found a small diner near Zion, Pennsylvania on the Google Maps Android app. But as our car moved down the muddy lane, called, eerily, Cemetery Lane, nothing but lonesome houses, illumined by Christmas lights and the slow burning cigarette of one man on a porch, appeared. Suddenly, our the front bumper on our car started making the alarming frictions of plastic dragging on road, which, in fact what was happening. We pulled up the road, pondered saying Kaddish for Fender, when the diner appeared, albeit not where the map said it would be.
I'm fairly certain we were the only Jews there.
A Santa Snow Globe salt and pepper shaker set; fries, salad, a few soft drinks; kindness and warmth from the staff at the diner who sent us to semi-trailer repair depot back at the intersection with Route 80, and we were on our way.
Inside a dank room, lit by the ignored screen of a blue television screen, sat two men ripped from the cast of "Blade Runner." We negotiated what exactly the problem was, their immobile structures stuck to the chair, enjoying a wee bit the city kid showing up in their domain of refuge. "Well, I'm not moving from this chair to you bring your car over here," one said.
"Do you expect me to drive it through your door?" I asked.
"I never said that," he countered.
"My car's outside," I said.
"So I guess I'll get up now," he said, then spit his tobacco right on the floor.
Placing a miner's light on his forehead, he and his partner climbed under our car, moved pieces of frayed plastic around, and rigged another piece of plastic to the bumper to hold it in place.
"That oughta do," he said, and rising, we shook hands. He refused a tip. I wished him a Merry Christmas.