It's upscale, the area the Complete and Total Loser's father's house is in, but like any crowded suburb these days diversity is key to commerce and profit. This means that despite the region's population of the upper crust, old monied and elderly residents there are enough working class folks around to support a Wal*Mart. And a Hooters restaurant.
It's been there for years, the Hooters, and it stands out on a corner near a huge shopping mall. The Loser and others drive by it while on their way to classier places. On Tuesday, the Loser drove by when he went to pick up some speaker wire at a Best Buy. (There are people who work at Best Buy, nice enough guys, who are unaware that their store sells something as low-tech as a 50-foot spool of speaker wire, by the way.)
He's passed it many times, but this time, two weeks after his mother's death, something strange happened: He almost went in.
As the Complete and Total Loser's faithful readers (number: zero) know, the Loser is not successful with women. He's never had a girlfriend and he hasn't had sex since 1997. He knows that the shallow stuff -- prostitutes and the like -- will not fill the void in his life and that trying to do so will only look pathetic to others and himself while magnifying his loneliness. Still, he was tempted. Why not go someplace and be waited on by a smiling woman in provocative clothes? he asked himself. The fries are excellent, he's heard, and while he's no fan of chicken wings (horrible, greasy little things only palatable when drunk) there are other items he'd probably eat.
He realized something he'd already known on some level: We live, many of us, by our parents' prescriptions more than we know. The Loser is no mama's boy. They ended on a good note these past few years, though his bitterness at his failed life sometimes took its aim at her. But he's gone months barely speaking to her and was hardly the doting son for years at a time. He lived overseas for half a decade without one visit home.
Wanting to go to a boob joint after her death made the Loser realize the extent to how much her judgment has meant to him his entire life. Without her alive, he feels free in ways he'd rather not.
The funny thing is, she'd probably have encouraged him to go to a Hooters. She'd always hoped he'd meet a nice girl and find love and expressing at least some interest in the company of women would have made her happy.