I was sitting in a diner, only a couple of people around, having their own conversations, taking their time with every movement they made.
I sipped on my sprite and looked at the clock on the wall, seeing how slowly the seconds ticked by. I watched as the bubbles from my soda rose to the top of my drink, popping as they passed the ice and hit the surface.
The cars outside drove by slowly, like no one was in a rush for once. Piano Man played quietly on the radio, and the sizzling of the stovetop hissed as person by person walked out leaving nothing but their dirty plates and a few crumpled dollars where they had been sitting.
Behind me, an older man sipped his coffee, gazing outside to the road dimly lit by streetlights, watching people walk by. He slowly turned his head to the man sitting across from him.
“Man, I love watching those kids. so full of innocence and none of that bullshit, you know?”
“Yeah man, yeah.”
“Society has just been ruining them younger and younger. We have to enjoy seeing their innocence when they’re still young, because the next thing you know, POOF! It’s gone and they don’t have that glistening in their eyes.”
He looked down to his coffee, slowly swirled it around, and took another long sip.
“Just the other day, I was reading a magazine, I forgot what it was called, but it was one of those ones they sell in the grocery lines. Right there on the front cover was a naked woman breastfeeding her child. I like reading those magazines, because they keep me updated with recent news, but when I saw that, it just hit me how these generations are sexualizing everything.”
“I think they forgot how to go out and live, play around outside and get dirty, and be kids. Maybe I’m just getting old, but the kids are growing up too fast. And I mean kids in 3rd grade have phones and are texting all day, and my friend’s granddaughter just went through her first ‘heartbreak.’ She’s going into 4th grade this year, 4th grade and she’s already saying she’s gotten a broken heart!”
The man sitting across from him grumbles and nods, showing he agrees, and goes back to picking at his fries that have been sitting on his plate for a while and are definitely cold by now.
“I just don’t understand how…”
The man’s voice gets cut off by my own thoughts, thinking about what I had just heard. I also gazed out the window, seeing the cars slowly driving by, the streetlight struggling to keep the road beneath it bright.
A. R. Teller