The Thoughts of the Neon "N" in a "Diner" Sign as It Struggles to Remain Lit

  1. I can't do this anymore.
  2. I'm... giving up.
  3. No, N, no.
  4. Flicker back on, you piece of garbage.
  5. This word needs you.
  6. "DI ER" is not indicative of a food place.
  7. It's just so hard to stay on all the time.
  8. Like literally always on.
  9. I don't know how D does it.
  10. He's so big and uppercase.
  11. I'm turning off again.
  12. NO.
  13. I am strong. I am important. I am N.
  14. Back on.
  15. I AM A VIBRANT CURSIVE CONSONANT, AND I AM GREAT.
  16. ...and I'm off again.
  17. Look at I and E. Not a care in the world.
  18. This is so easy for them.
  19. Why am I different?
  20. No, N, no. You don't know what I and E are going through. Everyone is on their own journey.
  21. WOO-HOO I'M ON!
  22. EVERYONE COME TO BUZZ'S DINER. SOLDIERS EAT FREE. TRY THE LEMON MERI-
  23. I'm off again.
  24. I can't help it. I try so hard-
  25. MERINGUE PIE. DOUBLE DOWN ON SOME OF BUZZ'S FAMOUS HOMEMADE CHICKEN POT PIE. SO GOOD YOU'LL SWEAR YOU'RE BACK AT GRANDMA'S. ONLY AT BUZZ'S DI-
  26. Off.
  27. I just can't seem to sustain it.
  28. The moths don't even bother flying around me.
  29. They know I'm just a tease.
  30. BRING YOUR KID'S TO BUZZ'S DINER! OUR PLACEMATS ALSO DOUBLE AS COLORING BOOKS. YOU SUPPLY THE KIDS; WE'LL SUPPLY THE CRAYO-
  31. Off.
  32. Look at all those cars whizzing by the highway, looking for a warm meal.
  33. Why would they stop at DI ER DINER DI ER DINER DI ER DINER.
  34. I'm just bringing everyone down.
  35. I should just go away.
  36. Wait... did I hear E correctly?
  37. R just up and quit?
  38. So now it's just DINE.
  39. I guess that still works.
  40. It's just a command now, rather than a suggestion.
  41. DINE AT BUZZ'S. OUR FRONT DESK HAS BOTH MINTS AND TOOTHPICKS, BECAUSE YOU SHOULD DECIDE WHAT YOU NEED AFTER A MEAL, NOT SOMEO-
  42. Off.
  43. Oh no.
  44. Now it says "DI E."
  45. Like the cover of a Stephen King book.
  46. And not even one of the good Stephen King books. Like a collection of short stories from before he got sober.
  47. Mysterious stranger shows up at a diner. Only the young waitress is on staff; you could write the rest.
  48. Oh, great. Now when I flicker it's ominous.
  49. I'm stupid and I'm ominous and everyone hates me.
  50. BUZZ'S DINE. OUR MENU IS TEN PAGES LONG AND INCLUDES WEIRDLY ECLECTIC ITEMS LIKE TACOS AND LOBSTER AND FILET MIG-
  51. Off.
  52. I should just quit.
  53. R did.
  54. It's just too hard to be the right way one second, and then the wrong way the next.
  55. I'm wired wrong.
  56. B, U, S, and both Z's above me don't have this problem.
  57. They are always bright and consistent and warm and welcoming.
  58. I... I can't do that. And trying is killing me.
  59. I'm going to just stop.
  60. Look at this couple smoking under me. Seeing me flicker on-
  61. BUZZ'S DINE. OLD TIMEY MILKSHAKES AND SHIT. IT'S JUST A GOOD RESTAURA-
  62. -and off.
  63. They come here every day for dinner. They don't need me.
  64. Oh, God. She just remarked on my noise.
  65. I forgot about my noise.
  66. I sound like a snake playing with a light-switch.
  67. I'm so embarrassing.
  68. Goodbye, I and E. Tell D I'm sorry I wasn't stronger for him.
  69. They are protesting, but I know they'd be better off not having to deal with me.
  70. ...what did the smoking man just say?
  71. He said he likes the noise and the flickering N.
  72. Because it adds character.
  73. And it makes him feel like this is a real place that exists, a place that's there for him. Because it's not perfect, but the flicker is familiar, and it reminds him of home. He can count on the flicker.
  74. His wife just laughed and said he's had too many and she's driving.
  75. ...
  76. Is it ok that sometimes I'm on and sometimes I'm off, and I can't really control it?
  77. E says yes. E loves me regardless.
  78. And I says D is getting all this information late but agrees.
  79. I guess I'll keep flickering, and just be try to be present whe-
  80. BUZZ'S DINER. THE OLD WAITRESS WILL CALL YOU "HON" AND COMP YOU FRIES BECAUSE SHE CAN "TELL YOU HAD A DAY."