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poetry
The 101
"The 101" - 1/4/21
 
A couple days ago I read it but it didn't really sink in
How do you believe that your home away from home
The place you went to feel the most yourself, whether
Alone or as a couple or a trio of friends of more
 
Your favorite chai latte (before cancer forbade sugar)
Your favorite authentically color-schemed
Nod to your favorite era with your favorite eggs
Over-easy and most importantly your persistent
 
Crush on an entire staff of vibey, upbeat individuals
Most of whom you'd come to know not only by name
But by late-night small-talk when you were too wired
To go to bed and the only thing to do after your local
 
Gig at Hotel Cafe or Ghenghis Cohen or most recently
The El Rey with Howard Jones; the place where you still
Meet cordially with your ex or your publicist you no
Longer work with but enjoy convening with no less
 
Where you overheard innumerable Hollywood deals
Seemingly "going down" where the booths were so
Comfortable you only finally got up because you were
Embarrassed to be there so long where the vegan
 
Stir fry was worth having twice in two days
Where you chose to walk through on your way
Out of the adjacent Best Western just to get in some
Solid people-watching...was closing for good?
 
I remember when Around The Clock and then Yaffa
Went under in my neighborhood. Eras ended; I'm
Not sure I ever recovered. The 101 was like that and I
Only even went a few times a year. A disproportionate
 
Number of dates, after-parties, meetings, interviews,
Best meals, existential conversations, reunions with
Great aunts and uncles and cousins and simply
Celebrating with beautiful friends happened for me
 
There. I haven't ever felt as home in a Diner or really
Anywhere as the 101 made me wanna be bi-coastal
Just knowing it was there the tile on the wall always
Seemed too shiny and the bathroom too pretty for the
 
Title "diner" I also loved their jukebox the naked baby
Photos of all their investors on the wall by the entrance
Including a guy I used to date oh and it always
Impressed me they had Mike & Ike's by the register
 
I wonder if someone else will take it over
Or if like most things of this nature the space will
End up utilized by something relatively soulless
And inevitably a shanda is it a sin to say Yartzeit
 
For a place or can I have that latitude to unabashedly
Lament how much I will miss you, your soulful warmth
Your unwitting magnetism for everything uplifting
In a city defined by distances between you bonded
 
Everyone serving experiences I'll miss you profoundly
Hallowed tables eliciting laughing like we did nowhere
Else haven of reunions, regulars, wannabes, strange
And ordinary angels I only wish you'd gone out
 
Swinging