(2018-11-08) Elderly Offroaders
Each suffering from work-related sleep deprivation, a nurse and a cop have breakfast.

Corner Cafe, Calaveras
Thu Nov 08, 2018

Long known to be the hangout for the local police and fire department, anyone coming in that serves the community in such a position is offered a 10 percent discount and all beverages are free.

Most times the cafe is a bustle of activity with waitresses, in their mint green t-shirts advertising the name of the restaurant paired with either jeans, moving around at a brisk pace to welcome customers (who are all invited to find their own seat upon entry), to take orders, bring back beverages and then food and refills.

A long bar invites customers to sit and eat, as do a couple of booths and then larger tables with chairs around them for bigger groups. A small window with a heating lamp is the divider between the fountain area and the cook area and is where orders are placed for the waitresses to deliver once the cooks have finished cooking them.

The floors are a serviceable checked black and white tile while the walls are painted a neutral light tan color. Lighting is fluorescent and could likely use an upgrade, much like the entire cafe that has been here for ages.


Sometimes 'The Rotation' sucks. Sure, Ginny's an old hand at it but this instance of working backshifts is really busting her ass. She went home just after midnight sometime, found herself feeling very restless and after a few flimsy hours of sleep woke up and couldn't quite get comfortable in her own skin. Fast-forward to roundabouts eight o'clock A.M, maybe creeping towards quarter after, and there's a tired young nurse planting her ass at the bar of the Corner Cafe, waiting for her bacon and eggs.

At least Ginny had the grace to get dressed properly after rolling out of bed but a really astute eye just might notice that her simple navy blue t-shirt is on inside out beneath her unzipped blazer. Yeah she's had 'a night'. She may or may not know that she put a shirt on inside out and it's really not too noticeable save for more pronounced seams. But like the honey badger, Ginny don't care. Sometimes it just feels nicer to have someone else make breakfast. A waitress eases in to refill her coffee for the second time in thirty minutes.

It would seem Genevieve is not the only one whose come to the Corner Cafe seeking breakfast after little to no sleep. The door swings open and Jameson drags himself in, moving as though it is taking a considerable effort to put one foot in front of the other this morning. Coffee was most certainly a necessity, and he has one destination: the bar, to fold onto one of the stools a couple seats down from Ginny herself. The waitress doesn't even need to be asked - she sets down a cup of coffee in front of him, which is almost immediately drained as-is, no cream or sugar added.

He's dressed in his uniform, the badge on his hip an immediate identifier of his position as 'cop'. The shirt is slightly rumpled, a suggestion that he may not have had time to actually change clothes between his shift yesterday and the one that has (apparently) just started. Once the cup is drained, Ginny finally gets a look, and a slight upward tip of his chin. "Morning," he offers, lifting his cup up to get the waitress' attention for a refill. "Wish this snow would calm the hell down, it's making a mess of things out there," he mentions to Ginny, casual conversation made.

Ah, Ginny is quick to recognize another who has had a wretched go of it. In the way that is universal to all eatery-goers, her ash-blonde head is one of the few perking up to observe the latest arrival to the cafe. It's an almost involuntary, almost meerkat-like reaction! Ginny then observes for a few seconds as the weary cop ambles out to seek a spot, situates himself, and commences to draining a cup of coffee in record time. Cripes, she can relate. It's enough to coax a ghost of a smile to the nurse's pale face as Jameson greets her and speaks of the weather. Oh fuck, the weather. Ginny isn't keen on that either.

As the waitress tops up Jamesons' coffee, Ginny is lifting her own and giving it a deep swig, hazel eyes peering over the rim of the mug as she considers, "Hallo officer," Said with earnest consideration; responders are always given the utmost respect. Her voice bears some sort of an accent; Irish, only not. It's a blend. "Isn't it foolish? Y'having to deal with folks thinking they're invincible on the snowy roads?" Asked amicably as she holds out her mug for a warm-up. "I just barely made it here m'self… got practice driving in snow, at the very least."

"You'd think the people that live here'd be used to wet roads, considering," Jameson mumbles through another mouthful of coffee, though the second cup is nursed a little slower than the first. He sets it aside, twisting on his stool to get a better look at the woman he's talking to - and there's a faint upward twitch at the very corners of his lips, a hint of a smile. "I'd say it's the tourists, but it's the locals that are the worst. I think half of 'em believe they're filming their very own version of 'Fast and Furious' or something. They see the snow as some kinda challenge," he manages a weary chuckle, reaching to rub at his eyes before he goes to pluck up his menu. "You're not from around here, hm?" He's caught the accent, perhaps.

Yup, she looks like she's been up half the night. Blonde hair surrounds her face but not in the gaggy-sparkly-hair-commercial way. This is in the manner of a woman who — upon waking up earlier — coaxed the mess of it into the half-assed, somewhat crooked low ponytail. She glances sideward again to meet the cop's glance and Ginny tilts her head thoughtfully, still unaware of the fashion faux-pas screaming 'howdy do!' beneath her coat. "I'd reckon th'tourists have a better grasp than the locals do. It's the locals," A firm nod of agreement. "I just about saw great aunt Hessie take the old Buick up on two wheels on a bend, when I was making my way out here. Things like that. Y'got your work cut out for you, good sir." Said gently before her tone is muffled by another swig.

Snort. Ginny just about gags on the coffee at the 'Fast and Furious' bit and she laughs outright, "Hah! True it is," (sounds like t'is) … a pause to let Jameson scan the menu. Ginny looks up and around to see if her own fare is on it's way before flitting her gaze back to the cop.

"Nossir. Up North, Maritimes. S'why I respect the weather. You're local, I take it?" Asked in her pleasant way.

There's a lift of blue eyes off the menu back to Ginny at the mention of 'Aunt Bessie,' a broader grin carving along his lips. It brightens his features considerably; a smile always makes someone look refreshed, but it doesn't last. He utters another low, tired chuckle as he glances back down to his menu. "That must be the same Aunt Hessie I just handed a ticket to. She threatened to have my badge, because she was only going /five/ miles over the speed limit. Not the twenty over I clocked her doing," he remarks joylessly, folding the menu closed once he's made his decision. There's small talk with the waitress to place his order, before his attention flicks back to Genevieve herself.

"Maritime, eh? Can't say I've been that far north. But no, hell no, absolutely not a local myself," he laughs a little, picking his coffee cup up and holding it comfortably with both hands. "I'm from the east coast. Philly," he shrugs. "Came out here last year."

"Thank God above y'caught her." Ginny exhales slowly, and she's so amused by the topic at hand that even when a plate of eggs, bacon and hashbrowns with a few triangles of toast are produced for her.. she doesn't even tuck in yet. An appreciate smile to the waitress and she's back to looking at the weary cop, eyes rounded in her face. "Old girl in a battleship like that car.. looks as if it thrashed pot holes and not th' other way around. I've seen 'er around town, almost always in rotten weather. Hopefully th' ticket will keep her in her bower for awhile." Ginny supplies another dash of lighthearted humor, just enough to not be trying too hard to be funny. She appreciated the brief dawning of Jameson's amusement. Being a law enforcer, no joke, is hard.

Quiet now as Jameson orders and Ginny goes at her breakfast. She chews, swallows, and will not speak up until she hasn't a speck of food in her gob. She listens to the man's subsequent words and smiles easily in response.

"It's beautiful back home… right bastardly in the winter but y'grow up in it, y'know what to do with it. I, however haven't been to Philly.. th' job bring you here?" Asked gently, as she realizes she may be peppering this poor man — needing peace — with too many queries.

The amusement of the conversation at hand cracks through the weariness of Jameson's features; soon, he's laughing again, a little louder than before, and it crinkles there in the corners of his eyes, giving them a gleam. "I doubt it. The seniors are worse than the kids who just got their license. I think the ticket'll just give her an excuse to try harder, to see if she can outsmart the cops," he grins, tapping fingers against the ceramic of his mug before he lifts it to take a sip.

He doesn't mind the lull in conversation, turning back to lean into the counter and finish his second cup. There's a refill before he looks back to Ginny, nodding his head at her inquiries. If he seems to mind? It's not reflective in the smile that he offers her, or in the pleasant way he replies.

"Yeah. Thought I'd get away from the big city, and the department out here was looking for more boots on the ground," he lifts a shoulder in a shrug. "My Chief of Police back in Philly knew the Chief out here. It was kismet, I guess. What about you? You're a long way from home yourself."

Laughter, in all forms and from anyone, buoys Ginny some. Her own lips turn up at their corners at the tired cop's laughter and she looks down at her plate, plucking up a piece of bacon and finishing it in two bites. The moment reckless 'seniors' are mentioned the nurse bawls a spat of laughter into her plate, dropping her hashbrown. "God, don't get me goin' about seniors. Y'should see some of the things I've come across." Said not disparagingly, but fondly. There's a reason as to why Ginny had much tolerance for the stunt driving biddy in her massive car. "Y'bet your bippy that old girl is gonna up the ante. Y'better prepare yourself." Said with a quick wink.

The waitress comes by and Ginny elects for one more top-up, holding her mug out and smiling up at the woman. Then, back to Jameson, "Kismet indeed.. somethin' about this town hastens roots taking hold, I find. Y'tell me a couple years back that I'd be living here… would think you to be mad." There, the tiniest ghost of wistfulness in the blonde's expression. She misses home but loves her current one too. "I came here just under a year ago, met a fellow further north with family living here. We hit it off, had our song and dance for a couple of years and moved here recently. Then it fell through." Ginny shrugs gently, "Worked in my favor though. Didn't have th' heart to leave." She leaves out the chained-to-a-mortgage part.

Between the bursts of laughter, the waitress swings by again to deliver Jameson's platter of food - an omelet that hangs over the sides of the plate, full of cheese and meat and green peppers. He cants his head over to Ginny to keep her in his sights, even as he starts cutting up the omelet to start eating. "Never thought this would be my life, yeah? In Philly, I was chasing down purse robbers and gang members. Here? Old women and serial killers, apparently," he breathes out a sigh, one full of both amusement and horror at the reality of his situation. "Can't say Calaveras hasn't been exciting, at least."

The officer grows silent as she talks, listening to her story with a slow nod of his head. He takes a few big bites of the omelet, licking the cheese off his lips before he looks back to her. "Sorry to hear that. About the break up. But it's good that you're in an okay place, yeah? Could be worse," he lifts a shoulder, taking another swig of the coffee. He blinks as he sets it back down, chuckling a little. "Name's Jameson, by the way. Sorry, I just realized I hadn't properly introduced myself."

Something in what the officer says sobers Ginny, too. "Old women and serial killers." A soft whisper; you can see it dawning on her face. It's all well and good to laugh at stubborn old birds but there's real danger, too. Ginny isn't so wrapped up in her simple life to not know of dangers. "Be safe out there, you and your compatriots, eh? It's scary business. All towns and cities have their nasty sides but what's been in the local news…" She trails off. She will not bring that business into Jameson's breakfast reprieve. The dipping of her spirits can be seen blinking like a light bulb in her expression, only to return brighter. Though Ginny yet looks tired.

"Aw, it's alright.. everyone falls out with someone, by th' by. Despite it all I'm liking it here, really liking it.. sometimes it takes that kick in the arse t' get you to sit up and really look at what you have." A quick wave of her slender hand before she scrapes up the remainder of her eggs with her opposite one. "An—-oh? Oh!" Ginny looks up and reddens, "Names! Important. It's a pleasure, Jameson. Y'can call me Ginny, or Genevieve if you're a fan of propriety."

It is, indeed, a sobering thought. Jameson tips his head in a slight nod. "Thanks," he murmurs to the 'be safe', passing a fainter smile in her direction. "It'll all be fine, I didn't mean to worry you. The news always seems to make things a little more apocalyptic than they actually are. I shouldn't have brought it up though," he admits, perhaps noting the fading of spirits between them both. He rolls his shoulders back as he looks to his food, and it was quite clear by the tense way in which he held himself in the moment how much invisible weight was on those shoulders of his.

He was glad for the change in conversation, in so far as it came to the belated introductions between them. "Well it's nice to meet you, Ginny," he says that earnestly. "And you can call me Jay if you'd rather. Jameson was usually reserved for my priest, parents, and now my partner when she's pissed at me," he chuckles. "What is it you do, if you don't mind me asking?" He doesn't comment on just how tired she looks. It's not a polite thing to say.

Watching the cop, Ginny in-turn has some memories being drummed up. She remembers what the enforcers in her hometown had to deal with, though even back in those early days she doesn't remember grisley murders. Perhaps something below the radar but… she has high suspicions of precisely how heavy that weight can be. The segue into lighter talk only increases her look of outward mirth, and the smile returns, "I think Jay is the better call. Jameson, Genevieve. All anger names. Get the middle name thrown in with the cherry on top bein' the last and you know you're just in deep shit. I'll call you Jay if you keep it to Ginny." A soft chuckle as she stabs at hash browns, one-by-one, to fork them off to their doom.

"I'm an LPN," Offered easily, "I work over yonder at the care home close to Birch, Rosewood. Been there since I set my feet down in Calaveras." She looks up, watches Jameson thoughtfully. "Was thinkin' on exploring a bridge program to become an RN, til' everything fell apart. But really I'm happy with what I have for now. Give it a couple of years, y'might see old Hessie and her Buick in my care." And something in her tone suggests that there would be no shortage of tenderness shown to the elderly stunt driver.

She looks back down to her plate, "I really do like it, but it's exhausting—-" Said as she adjusts her coat collar, looks down.. notices something. Ginny freezes and blushes fiercely.

"You got it. Ginny it is, from now until forever," Jay chuckles at the promise, taking another bite out of his omelet as he listens to her talk of her career. "Oh, wow. That's an honorable profession in and of itself, being a nurse. I don't think I could do it, to be honest. My mom was looking into that, going back to school to be a nurse, but she never did it." There's a flicker of sadness that settles at the end of that sentence, but it's not something that lingers. At the very least, Jameson doesn't dare linger on the topic.

Perhaps he would have said something else, had he not caught the abrupt freeze and blush that brightens her cheeks. It makes him blink a few times, brows raised. "Is something wrong?" He's a guy. He hadn't noticed the shirt.

Can't be anything awful, because Ginny clears her throat and gives a rueful smile. "Sorry, just seein' the fallout of not sleeping a wink. I'm trying to bring a new style into fashion, y'see… I call it 'look for the damned tags'," She eases back and gestures to what is, indeed, an inside-out t-shirt. She doesn't even bat an eyelash after the initial shock. "Didn't even notice going out th'door. Sorry if I startled you."

Meanwhile, the nurse is used to guarding her 'hot topics' as a dragon would it's barrow, so she recognizes that in another. Seeing as how she just met Jameson — and Lord knows the man deserves some downtime — she will not poke or prod to glean more information on anything that could be difficult for him to dredge up. Something in Ginny's expression softens at the words 'she never did it' and she nods gently, "I just about didn't. Where I'm from, even this day and age, some of th' roles are a bit pronounced. There's lots of caregivers in my tribe. Mum is an RN t'this day and a real Nurse Ratchet. I wanted t'be just like her.. but it's the caring part that drew me in. Keeps me there. I become family, at least in the place where I'm at." Said fondly.

"Oh!" The revelation dawns on Jameson, but only after Ginny makes it obvious, and he politely looks back up to her eyes after a quick glance down to her shirt. "Ah, shit happens. Own it, you know? I didn't even notice, if it helps, but I've had about two hours sleep in the past three days. You still look good," he shrugs, tacking on a smile with the compliment, before he looks back to his omelet to finish it off. The plate is pushed aside as he exhales a low sigh.

"I understand that. Growing up, wanting to be just like those around you. Especially when you think there are heroes in your family," he murmurs, and the brightness that had been so prominent in his eyes before slowly darkens. There's a hard look that he gives to his plate, as he pulls out his wallet and deposits enough money onto the counter for the food and a tip. When he looks back to Ginny again, whatever dark cloud had settled over him has gone away, and he's smiling again. "I should probably head back to the cruiser and try to catch another stunt driver. But it was nice meeting you, Ginny. I'm sure I'll see you around again?"

There, an ebullient stream of laughter. Ginny does own her folly and she can only shrug.. though judging by how she's zipping up her coat she doesn't seem keen on letting others notice. "Thanks for that.. could've been worse, I guess. For what it's worth you're doing pretty good for yourself.. though I pray you find a pillow soon." Ginny hopes the sleep will be sound, at least; a big order for law enforcers. She pushes aside her own empty plate but like mother taught her, she's assembling her cutlery on said plate and wiping the counter with her spare napkin. Only then when she sees fit, and after the bill was subtly placed closeby, does Ginny produce the money for both her order and a tip.

Though, she doesn't overlook the poignant thought, "I think another breed of heroes are the ones who branch out." Said simply; seems that's been her comfort quote during her lonesome stint in Calaveras. "I've much of the same inkling… get my poor car home before the weather turns. I'm no stunt driver." Ginny admits, reaching out a hand in an offer to shake Jameson's own. "A pleasure. Take good care out there, Officer Jay. I'm certain I will see you again before long.."

Added with mirth, ".. just not for a ticket"

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