Jim Gustafson — Waffles


You should eat a waffle! You can’t be sad if you eat a waffle!
― Lauren Myracle

What the Three Wise Men thought was a guiding star was really the glow of a big yellow Waffle House sign shouting loud in the night. They followed its light for hours, through dew drip darkness;
dodging eighteen-wheelers thundering along the interstate.

At the sight of the Waffle House, they raised their hands in praise, as they prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. There was plenty of room at the counter. A friendly server named Mary and a short-order cook called Joe greeted them with warm smiles.

They chatted with Mary, while they waited for waffles. It was obvious from the way Mary and Joe
at each other, the way their hands touched when she handed him their order slip, and the slight patch of purple on Mary’s neck that she and Joe had a thing going on.

The Wise Men watched the batter ooze and flow. The steam streams rose, the hot iron genuflected and rounded the white dough. An aroma, sweeter than the holiest incense, lounged.

All three had maple syrup. What self-respecting wise man would have anything else?

As they poured the syrup, it seeped through the land of little cross on the gold sacramental wafers.
Road sounds were drowned by the satisfied smacks of their lips. Slight rainbows spread in buttery spills across the maple juice sea.

“Is not the architecture of the bee, designed as this catacomb cake?” said one,
“Is not their honey homage?”

“Is ice cream not best waffle coned? Has ever there been a more divine form?” asked another.

Could any fair maiden’s smile not spread with the gift of this well-plated pastry?” said the third.

When their plates lay still and sticky, in the afterglow of the well-buttered, syrup soaked waffles, they paid their check, and left generous gifts for Mary and Joe.

Having been told of heavy traffic along the interstate, they returned home another way.

Jim Gustafson
From Driving Home
Aldrich Press, 2013
Available on Amazon.com

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