It is our purpose to fight entropy, the onslaught of disorder that will one day destroy the universe.
And so when a driver loses control and swerves across traffic and clips a couple of other cars and jumps a curb and slams into a family sitting down for breakfast, shattering glass and peace, we rebuild.
We do not have a choice.
Phyllis Seipel knows this, even if she doesn’t say it.
It is why she and her husband, Charles, were absolutely beaming Monday morning as they sat down for breakfast.
“Nice to see you back,” she said when she walked through the front door of the original Egg & I restaurant at 4533 W. Sahara Ave. She smiled and offered hugs.
“Glad to be back,” said Brad Burdsall, who bought the place 15 years ago.
“You know,” said Seipel, “we were here the first time it opened almost 30 years ago.”
And now they are there again, for the rebirth.
“It’s just wonderful,” she said. “Everybody’s just dying to get here.”
She makes her way to the back, where years of practice help waitresses and busboys avoid running into each other. She offered hugs.
“I love seeing everybody back. I love it. I love it.”
She sat a few feet from the wall of windows fronting Sahara Avenue, the windows an out-of-control 1993 Lexus sedan smashed through five weeks earlier, injuring 10 people and cracking the main support beam — the spine that held the Egg & I together.
Burdsall, the owner, still has pictures of the damage on his cellphone.
He said the busboy who was standing right there when it happened is recovering. He is getting some major work done on his teeth but might be able to work again soon. Light duty only, at first.
Jose Guzman, who was on the patio with six other members of his family, said Monday that they’re all recovering.
They’re having trouble dealing with the mess that is insurance companies and hospital bills, but they’re going to be OK.
“When we get situated,” he said from California, where he is helping take care of his sister while she recovers, “we’ll go back there and have breakfast. This won’t knock us down. Not at all.”
The driver, 18-year-old Gage James Lindsey, faces six felonies, including driving under the influence.
Prosecutors have said Lindsey had Xanax and marijuana in his blood when his car slammed into the restaurant.
No estimate of the repair costs was available Monday. Burdsall is still amazed that there wasn’t more damage. As it was, the place was virtually ruined. But the car came to rest hovering off the ground, its front end supported by the beam that is supposed to hold the restaurant together, its rear by a patio heater.
If it had fallen, someone could have died. Guzman’s nephew and his sister were trapped under the car until firefighters freed them.
That serendipity is as unpredictable as the wreck itself was. Who knew a car would go over the median, strike two more cars, avoid a tree and a power pole by mere feet, then hit the restaurant, only to balance precariously on top of the damage it had caused?
That’s why Burdsall made a few improvements. He remodeled the whole place. New chairs, new tablecloths, new paint on the walls and some televisions. Outside, he flanked the patio dining area with huge boulders.
Because chaos may be as inevitable as the end of the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep fighting.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0307.