Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tuesday Evening

By Richard Shewmaker


The skin on my feet turns whiter and peels more every day because my feet are always wet at this shitty job. I stand by the deep sink and scrub pots or I load the dish baskets and slide them into the dishwasher. While I stack the clean dishes on their shelves and the clean pans on their rack over the cooks’ line I get out of the inch of standing water in my dishwashing pit, but that doesn’t take long enough for my shoes to dry. I tried wearing boots, but that was worse. Try wrapping your feet in rubber for eight hours a day, and you’ll learn what I mean.

On the way back from delivering a stack of pots, I grab a fillet knife from the prep station and stab it to the handle under the ribs of Pedro, the line cook. “What are you looking at?” he snarls. I go back to washing dishes.

I snap off one of my apron strings and use it to garrote Chef Jean. He crowds me against a table and pushes a dinner plate at my face to show me a spot of dried egg yolk. I cringe and am overpowered by the itch in my wet shoes. I grab the plate and smash it over the head of Adrian, the grill cook.

Johnny, the smug busboy, I drown in my sink full of gray water.

Heather and Buffy, the interchangeable waitresses, I lure into the walk-in freezer and snap on the padlock so they’ll freeze or suffocate, whichever comes first.

At 3:30 on Wednesday I’m back at work and my socks are already soaked. Maybe today I’ll get a chance to kill the son-of-a-bitch owner. Pedro throws a big saute pan into my sink, splashing a gallon of water down the front of my shirt.

Mister Bowman comes through from the dining room. “I need you to work tomorrow night,” he says, “Gary called in sick.”

“Okay,” I reply. I bash his head again and again with Pedro’s saute pan until blood and brains mix with the water on the floor.

“Be here on time,” he says.

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