BIG LOVE and SCIENCE to L. ANDERSON xo TasseO
All night eclipse at the Archetypal Diner
A few months ago in the peak of the dark season that marked my first winter in Montreal, I spent an afternoon listening to the calming recitations of David Lynch. He was reading from his most recent book, Catching the Big Fish. As he mused on the joy of TM and the creative process, there was one passage that entwined our spirits like log lady and log: it was our mutual love for the Diner. “There’s a safety in thinking in a diner. You can have your coffee or your milkshake, and you can go off into strange dark areas, and always come back to the safety of the diner.”
I had just recently moved to Montreal, and found myself carving many hours of time alone. I did a fair amount of night walking. I discovered that beyond the amphetamine after-hours, there is still a quiet spring of late night institutions to dwell in - many that have been left in tact for several decades. The Diner is one of them. At the Diner, I would meet a friend for coffee at any hour and frantically shoot the shit until the caffeine wore off. I would often venture to the Diner alone, ordering a plate of solitary fries, taking in the solace of the deep fried scented sanctuary.
There is something vividly nostalgic about the Diner. You can envision your own grandparents, still young and fresh faced, congregating by booth and burger. If you were fortunate enough to be taken to the Diner in childhood, you can remember grilled cheeses; milkshakes that still taste like first strawberry sip. These plates remain stationary, unchanging in their simple, salt of the earth pleasure. Even the proprietor of the Diner remains constant: earnest, hardworking, devoid of airs or fluctuation of culinary trend.
I remember Tony from The Hamburger King on Yonge street in Toronto. Our grandparents used to take us there. Tony wore one of those white paper dining hats that were in the same fashion as a naval officer, nurse or flight attendant. Tony’s son, Anthony was a painter. His monochrome Botticellian women of the nineties with big lips and beauty marks hung all over the brown wooden walls. I remember chicken fingers, vanilla milkshakes, accompanied by tiny salads with rippled slices of cucumbers and tomatoes.
When touring, nothing pleases me more than driving into a small town, both familiar and unknown to me, and catching the sight of the faded sign of the archetypal Diner in the distance.
I know there will be coffee, black as midnight on a moonless night.
I know there will be fries, aging ambiance, doughy patrons on stools, and if I’m lucky, there will be the honourable archetypal Diner exchange between my server and I where she will fill up my cup and we’ll smile at one another. Beyond us, there is this exchange at that occurs almost every night at all hours, on every stretch of highway between Montreal and Missoula. It’s the late night sanctuary of all travellers and outcasts; comrades, loners, and drunkards.
She will fill up my cup and we’ll smile at one another.
Tasseomancy Mirror-caps for catching Lemons; for catching the Light, Man xox
all photos by r. lightman
broken mask under a Redwood at the Avenue of the Giants, Taylor Kirk of Timber-Timbre + Tasseomancy members, a healing horse in Montana, banana cream pies in various diners across America, A trunk full of antler horns beside a Casino in Wyoming, Julia Kennedy in the pool at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles//all photos by r. light
crabs on ice at Pike Place Farmer’s Market in Seattle;Evan with clown mask; Tasseomancy mirror hat and Matisse t-shirt by the Pacific; adult’s only video store in Vancouver; Peonies along the number one highway in California. all photos taken by r. lightman
All photos taken by r. Light from a Black Rock happening in Harlem.
a sky painted wall in a tattoo parlour, Toronto; an Old Montreal hotel that was under construction; bathroom with fuzzy toilet seat cover just outside of Collingwood Ont; Bo Ningen performing with Tasseomancy in Boston; veteran graveyard in Salem Mass; forgotten ice machine in Gloucester Bay, Mass; Lobster traps by the artist colony of Bearskin Neck Rockport; an oily hot tub in a marina resort out of season in Manchester-by-the-Sea.