One of my favorite Tom Waits albums is Nighthawks at the Diner, which includes the song "Eggs and Sausage":
"Now the waitress calls eggs and sausage and a side of toast, coffee and a roll, hash browns, over easy ..."
I thought of this song when I visited Honey's, the only 24-hour diner in Durham, which, after losing its lease, closed Sunday afternoon at 3. The revered eatery had been open every day—except for Christmas—for 53 years. Lines of customers streamed out the door and into the parking lot all afternoon. People lingered over their meals—chicken, waffles, eggs, biscuits, spaghetti—well past closing time, and even at 2:55, the waitstaff continued to prepare table settings, wrapping silverware in paper napkins.