Canter’s. Four AM. Two Very Nice Ladies Returning From a BBW Ladies’ Night.

Every Saturday night for the past three weeks, Bethanne and her friend (who asked not to be named) have gone to the Butterfly Lounge in Costa Mesa, then come to Canter’s for breakfast. Then they go home and go to sleep.

“It’s kind of sleazy,” says Bethanne. “Well, not sleazy.”

This morning they have the annex dining room all to themselves. Bethanne wasn’t successful at the Butterfly, but her friend was — a guy asked her to dance and bought her a beer. Bethanne says she’s too shy. Note: Bethanne is not shy.

She volunteers the following information: She loves Canter’s, partially because she sees celebrities here, though she cannot remember their names. There was a big guy, a comedian, that she sat next to once. But this was 20 or 30 years ago and she can’t remember his name. John Candy? No. Louis Anderson? Oh, no. She’s not sure why Canter’s doesn’t advertise the celebrity connection more than the rock-and-roll connection.

“Like, there’s a poster for Guns n’ Roses,” she says.

“Who’s Guns n’ Roses?” her friend asks.

“I don’t know. Heavy metal?” Bethanne asks me.

Also: Bethanne used to work in a hospice for Japanese-Americans, and many of her co-workers were Hiroshima survivors (Bethanne is fiftyish). One aide had a husband who survived because he was in a bank vault when the bomb went off. And when he came up, she said, the city was gone. I do not ask if this man was played by Burgess Meredith in a Twilight Zone episode, because this would be in bad taste.

They ask me questions, about blogging, about restaurants in Los Angeles, about what I think of Pasadena (where Bethanne is from). They ask me if a restaurant I’ve never heard of will be reopening. I tell them I’ve never heard of it. Things start to get weird and I excuse myself, thanking them for their time.

So: This is Canter’s at Four in the morning. I frikkin’ love it.

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