To offset my income, I work in a restaurant. I’m not going to name the restaurant, but just know that it was started by two walking, talking cardiovascular disasters waiting to happen, the food is Sicilian, and that half of the menu is seeped in alfredo sauce and lemon butter.
In my consistent attempt to discontinue my apparent destiny: slinging marsala to the masses, I have quit this particular company 4 times. And yet, every time, I manage to find a reason to come back. My friend Adam called it this time. I started picking up shifts for the owner (a good friend of mine—never helpful when you’re trying to quit), and he warned me that I was relapsing.
I was getting the shakes. I couldn’t help it. I had to get my fix.
And so, yet again, I found myself waltzing in on Mothers’ Day to the bustling and clanging of an intensely busy restaurant.
Actually, let me backtrack. My ex, Robby (you’ll know him from previous posts) also happens to be one of my best friends. He managed to avoid the Mothers’ Day craziness because his brother Michael graduated from college and they happened to be scheduled to “walk” on Mothers’ Day. Kind of a cool thing—I’m sure Kim enjoyed watching him walk on “her” day. Rather perfect, actually.
What this means for me is that I cat-sat for our Bengal kitten, Thor. I moved out months ago, but we decided that it was best for his upbringing that he has both parents, and so I have visitation rights. (This actually works great for me, because Robby has to continue cleaning his litter box and I can just visit, spoil him, and give him back.)
While he was gone, I was given reign to drive his car all over the place. The problem with this is that for some reason the idiot who installed the shifter on Rob’s car somehow managed to do it wrong. I was at Publix a couple of hours before my shift and when I returned from grabbing some lunch, I couldn’t press the button in. I tried everything. I grabbed a glass bottle of tea out of my bag and tried to use it as leverage. I pressed in hard with both hands. I tried making up some crazy spell to magic it into working…nothing. After forty five minutes of checking to make sure that the break pin up underneath the dash was in fact pushing up (don’t be impressed—I called a car-expert-friend of mine from back home), I came to the panicky conclusion that I was not going to make it to work.
I called Angela (said boss-friend) and explained my plight. She told me to keep her posted.
So, realizing that for some reason I—with all of my brilliant car-luck—do not in fact have AAA, I grabbed the keys, my purse and my bag of goodies and walked all the way back to Rob’s apartment in the blistering heat. When I got there, I grabbed a screwdriver, cooled off, and walked back. I took apart the shifter and manually pushed the pin down. (A note for those of you who know that there is a manual release…Rob’s car doesn’t have it. Like—it’s missing).
So I drive my not-so-happy-ass to work and see that the restaurant is bustling and brimming with all sorts of mothers and grandmothers and their families. Mothers’ Day, for those who are not in the food industry, is one of the busiest days of the year. Pulling a double, you can make out with almost 300 bucks in your pocket at a restaurant where you usually pull $100 per shift.
Even though I didn’t work a double, I still had every intention of making about $150. I was a closer, which meant I had an awesome section with two booths and a table right by the door.
So I get sat at one of my booths and spring myself right into the routine of grabbing appetizers, selling wine (which is my rationale for being there, since I want to become a wine sommelier and further my career as a critic), and regaling my epic tale of car trouble. Then I got “double-sat” at my two other tables. Awesome! Gonna be a busy night! I thought, swinging around and grabbing both drink orders.
I’d just grabbed a couple of pink lemonades and was rounding the corner towards the bar to grab two sangrias when all of the sudden, I smelt it.
It hit me like a wave. My eyes watered. My lungs constricted. It just hung in the air like a thick fog.
Ugh, what is that?!
I looked up at the host stand, which seemed to be the direction it was coming from, and saw one of the managers, Michael, gazing out past me with his face frozen in shock. His finger was pointed out as if he had been searching for someone to help him seat a table, but his eyes were glazed over.
Slowly, Michael and I turned our heads out toward the restaurant. We met the gazes of almost a hundred shell-shocked patrons, each of them with their hands to their noses.
Why? There eyes pleaded, what and why?
Slowly, without an answer to their silent pleas, we both continued to turn our heads toward the door.
“It came down his pants!” someone said from off to the right.
I looked up to see a little old man doing his little old slow-scurry thing out the door, leaving a slug-trail of what could only be described as milky brown grease in his path.
“Oh, my god,” Michael said, sounding like he was going to be sick. We each turned around.
As the door shut behind the man, whose daughter was whispering to him, “look what you did,” as she helped him to the car, A waft of air swished in and pushed the shit-smell through the whole place.
In all of thirty seconds, half of the building was cleared out.
I have a friend, Chaz, who is a massage therapist in town. He had been texting me all week talking about the non-milfs he has to massage on Mothers’ Day weekend. I, true to my nature, had been talking all sorts of smack.
Chaz now feels redeemed.