Cover Photo: photo by Chris Goldberg/flickr
photo by Chris Goldberg/flickr

The Writer Observes (Perkins Restaurant, Butte, Montana, Sunday, April 17, 11:17 a.m. - 12:16 p.m.)

“You definitely got more hash browns than I did.”


This place bakes in the midmorning heat, and smells like our various coats. The sun, aslant through the plate-glass windows, weighs heavy in the maple-flavored air, blankets our heads with Sunday torpidity. A hostess guides me past tables filled with heathens who have skipped church this morning (as well as those who went to the early service and now stare in judgment at those who probably did not). I’m led to a sticky booth at the back of the restaurant. I sit, order coffee, water, pancakes, and something called the Big Country Smasher®. I open my notebook, unpocket my pen, and begin my observations.








David Abrams is the author of Fobbit (Grove/Atlantic, 2012), a comedy about the tragedy of war.  He blogs about the literary life at The Quivering Pen ( His work has appeared in Esquire, Glimmer Train, The Greensboro Review, Narrative, Salon, and many other places. He lives with his wife in Butte, Montana.