They have wide, thin mouths, that by some conspiracy of anatomy and lighting appear to extend beyond the borders of their faces, improbable and frog-like. Irritated, emaciated amphibians skulking in plain sight.

“The soup is good, but it’s a little salty.”

Hunched over bowls of chicken noodle, holding court on the finer points of the food service industry. “A lot of diner cooks are smokers. It screws up their sense of taste. They wind up using too much salt.” It’s the wee hours, and they share a table squirreled away in some odd corner of a still odder hometown.

Someone’s hometown, at least. Not mine, certainly not yours. The local diner’s resting place, long since gone ragged.

Later, they don their jackets and walk out back, a scene strewn with empty boxes, grease-streaked and forlorn for lack of their former contents. Moving past the smokers who prepared their meals, all parties puff away silently and eye warily.

“If anything happened to my eyes, man, I’d be screwed.” And yet they’re already malfunctioning in their natural state.

“They’re called glasses. Don’t be so dramatic.”

Make of them what you will.