Waffle House

“even pot heads and hobos have mamas.” – Victoria from Waffle House

God, ever have those days that literally take up all 24 hours of your consciousness? Today was that way.

It started groggy and with McDonalds coffee. I rolled into the studio without showering (my friends tell me I have the face for radio… get it?) Anyway, Jake and I are still trying way too hard to be funny on air and failing at it. At least we’re having fun and I’m doing something that I’ve always dreamed of.

After, I met up with Chris to pack for Bonnaroo and then headed to work. I instantly was in a terrible mood when I got there for various reasons. Coincidence and fate are doing weird things to my life lately.. And that’s all the explanation I have for my mood. So work was lame but I ghetto danced behind the counter and made it as fun as possible.

I got off around 10, went to the apartment and packed, and headed home to Nashville. As soon as I got in my car I had a weird feeling something was going to happen, but I decided to go ahead with my plans. About an hour into the drive, I start to hear dragging and I pull over on the side of the road. I thought I had a flat but when I knelt down, liquid was gushing out of the floorboard. I looked up and smoke was rising from the hood. Naturally, I ran away from my car expecting it to blow up like in a scene from a movie. I hid under a bridge and called my mom.

I know I should take these things seriously. And I do… To an extent, but I couldn’t help laughing. And my poor mother is thinking I’m going to get abducted and I’m like “mom, if someone picks me up in these sweatpants and flip-flops, ill be real surprised.”

The cops came, and made fun of me, and dropped me off at a Waffle House in Crossville to wait for my mom. (Sidenote: my car did not explode. Why am I weirdly disappointed? Because I secretly love drama.)

I have never been in a Waffle House I didn’t like. Some of my favorite memories are in them. You are always bound to find one old lady who works the night shift and goes by “Nana.”

This one happened to share my name, Tori! She says: “honey now you sit down here and let me get you some coffee.” So I laugh and sit down and talk to the two guys beside me. Their names are Jeff and Brad. They remind me of two stoner nerds from some 80’s movie. Jeff is huge, like a gentle giant. And not a stoner. He’s from Indiana and loves Jesus and has scabs all down his arms that he keeps picking. Brad is a retired Navy vet who moved here from Hawaii. I question his sanity. Victoria is from Cali and won best boobies at the University of San Diego, although I doubt they’re still prize worthy since she’s now in her 60s…..

I ask Jeff why he left Hawaii and he says: “It’s just another place, like any other.”

and Victoria tells us a story about a hobo who picked her flowers beside the Waffle House and the guys laugh and say: “yeah, he picked em’ straight outta the ground and they still had their roots on em'”

and Victoria says: “well that’s the way I like em! where I come from, if it doesn’t have roots, it doesn’t grow.”

….I’m quickly falling in love with these people when my mom walks through the front door, stress written all over her face. I feel bad that I’m the source of so much of it in her life.

We get in the car and she says: “you’re never driving at night again, promise.”

Oh, the promise. Why do moms always need the promise? They know we’re going to screw up again. But to a mom, I feel like sometimes words are your only form of control, and in my moms case, if she thinks she can control me, then she can keep me safe. I love her for that. I also love her for driving two hours at 2 am to pick me up, and for laughing when I showed her the vine I made in the back of the cop car, even though she tried hard not to.

So, it’s 4 am and I’m finally on the road back home. Today literally lasted from 8am to now… So if some days are wasted, this was definitely not one of them.

I just couldn’t help but write about it.

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