BEST GREASY SPOON - 1998
There's a fella hunched over the counter who thinks he's Cagney, crushing cigarette butts and counting coffee rings on the Formica. He sits with his back to the door, and to the cops and truck drivers who bang in and out of it. Willie Nelson is on the radio. The waitress is crumbling, though a 30-year-old photo by the pay phone proves she was a beauty. She tilts out coffee and rasps the orders. She fusses with a strand of hair, unties her apron and ties it again. The cash register clicks and jingles. Cagney slides off his stool and hitches up his belt. He slicks back his hair and heads for the street. The waitress slips a dollar and change in her apron pocket and makes a swipe at the counter with her rag. Another one takes his place. He says, "Morning." She answers, "Coffee?"