I figure I should try telling a story.
"Give me one of everything" he said as he slowly approached the St. Paul diner's dilapidated counter. Maggie, the aging waitress, laughed. "The usual, eh?" She was greeted by silence.
It had been 12 hours since he had induced himself into a food coma the night before. He had always used food as a coping mechanism and the previous night was no different. As he left work on Monday night he was accosted by his co-workers, his managers, and those who monitored his work.
"Do you have the internet, Maggie?" Before she could answer back Matt continued "I went home last night after stopping at Pizza Hut for unlimited medium pizzas for $10 each. After I finished I logged onto my America Online Account and went to the USA TODAY homepage. A home page is kind of like a newspaper on your computer, Maggie, and all I saw was how stupid I looked. There I was, right there for everyone to see. It was so embarrassing. Have you ever been on a newspaper, Maggie?
"Well, no, Matt. I am just a simple waitress from a small town"
"I knew you wouldn't understand" groaned Matt as Maggie walked away unsure of what to say-- again.
It was at that time that a slovenly cook clumsily walked from the kitchen with three plates of food.
"Dammit, Matt, you can't come in here every morning and make my waitress feel like garbage. I know what it feels like to be in the news. Oh, I know alright". Matt looked up from his slice of Key Lime Pie that Maggie had brought as an appetizer. "What the hell are you talking about?" Matt asked the cook.
"Your not from around here, are you?" said the cook. "I can tell just by looking at 'cha. You wouldn't know it but I used to be someone around here. Just one town over, I used to be somebody".
"Sure you were, pops" said the equally slobbish patron as he shoved the fresh fishsticks dipped into mustard in his mouth.
"You might not know me but we have a lot in common, Matt. If you aren't careful, this could be your future" he said as he waved his hands pointing to the sparsely populated diner. "I used to play baseball, too, Matt. Yessir, I know who you are. What, you don't think that we get the newspaper here? Get your head out of your rear end. Anyway, I used to be like you Matt. I was a pitcher, too. In fact, I even pitched at the end of games, just like you."
Matt interrupted "Gees, Joe, you look like crap. Texas sure has aged you."
"I am not Joe Nathan!" screamed the man as Maggie brought more plates of food out to Matt. "Look at the mirror. You are eating yourself into a gosh darn joke." Matt looked down into his plates, confused. "The year was 1986 and we had all the making of a fine young team. We had Kent and Kirby, Bruno and Gags. They were mostly kids but they were on the brink of something special. That was, until Frankie or Bert handed the ball off to me. After that, well, let's just say my back was on the front page of the newspaper a few times".
"Like the USA Today?"
"Yeah, Matt, even USA Today. Now go wash off your hands and get the hell out of here before your eat yourself right out of the big leagues, ya hear?"
"Yes sir" Matt replied.
And with that, Matt Capps walked as fast as he could to his car and drove to Target Field to begin training for that night's baseball game.
As he was leaving Maggie turned to the cook, who it turns out owned the diner, and screamed:
"Dammit, Ron, you just lost our best customer. He was putting my kid through college. He was single handily keeping our the restaurant afloat! We are going to have to close the doors here at Davis' Diner!"
Ron laughed and said "don't worry, Maggie, he will be back. He always comes back."