But no. this month I’m on the OEG diet, the biggest fad going on at the college where I teach. I don’t think the students know of this diet. They’re too busy snacking on Ring Dings and getting drunk on mojitos every Friday night.
But at least ten professors are on the OEG Diet. I know this because we all Zoom twice weekly to share recipes and to moan about the ridiculousness of the OEG.
In fact, I’m supposed to be in the university faculty lounge right now, face masked and each of us sitting six feet apart, but if I eat one more OEG meal, I will… puke. And I’ll only vomit one color, since the OEG diet means its initials: Only Eat Green.
So, surreptitiously, I sneak off campus, down Springer Avenue, past Main Street, and up Doodle Lane to the tiny diner I’ve heard my students talk about. “Best milkshake in the Midwest,” was one quote. Another was “That double sharp cheese grilled sandwich with bacon is better than sex.”
I look around after I open the squeaky diner door – no one I recognize, although granted those not eating are wearing face masks. I slink past the counter with three empty stool seats, noticing that only every other booth is available for diners. Gratefully I sink into the last one .
The waitress comes almost immediately and begins to pour a glass of water.
She sends me an expression that silently says, “You’re an odd duck,” and marches off. I tap my fingers on the sticky tabletop, lusting for this shake like a thirsty dog pants for water.
The door squeaks and a man enters the diner with a limp I recognize, as well as his dark brown trench coat.
Damn! Of all the diners in this metropolis . . . really? Has he been following me? But he ignores my back corner and sits at the counter. He opens a newspaper he brought along – looks like the Times – and scribbles in it with his signature silver pen.
I know instantly that some way, somehow, I must find out what he’s writing. Could it be? No, not on the newspaper!