Daniel always took me to the type of diners that seemed to constantly have sticky tables. The ones where all the food is some shade of yellow and the drinks are slow to be refilled. He says he practically lived in one during high school and into college. He says the fact that they were a refuge from the loneliness of an absent mother, a father that worked nights, and ever present bouts of insomnia. For a few bucks you could get a coffee, read a book in relative peace, and would always wind up making friends with the other misplaced regulars your age. After a few months your loneliness gets replaced by the comfort of a lukewarm mug and a wait staff that knows what you're going to order as walk through the door. I never quite agreed with his affection for these places, but he's all I can ever think about whenever I'm half-drunk and someone suggests one.