Lyrics of Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner,” Reformatted as Flash Fiction

by Adam Reger

I am sitting in the morning at the diner on the corner. I am waiting at the counter for the man to pour the coffee.

And he fills it only halfway. And before I even argue he is looking out the window at somebody coming in.

“It is always nice to see you,” says the man behind the counter to the woman who has come in. She is shaking her umbrella.

And I look the other way as they are kissing their hellos.

I’m pretending not to see them. Instead I pour the milk.

I open up the paper. There’s a story of an actor who had died while he was drinking. It was no one I had heard of.

And I’m turning to the horoscope and looking for the funnies when I’m feeling someone watching me and so I raise my head. There’s a woman on the outside looking inside. Does she see me?

No, she does not really see me because she sees her own reflection. And I’m trying not to notice that she’s hitching up her skirt. And while she’s straightening her stockings her hair has gotten wet.

Oh, this rain it will continue through the morning. As I’m listening to the bells of the cathedral I am thinking of your voice…

And of the midnight picnic once upon a time before the rain began…

I finish up my coffee. It’s time to catch the train.