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Monday, August 19, 2013

Three Servers on a Bed of Arugula with an Exhausted but Amusing Dipping Sauce

I managed to re-injure my wrists this weekend.  Naturally, I was against this.  Please enjoy a bit of work-related exhaustion from winter of 2011.  I hope to be back "live" tomorrow.


When the opportunity arises to serve, one, of course, serves. Black pants, legs creased sharply; white shirt starched to an exactitude rarely seen outside of the military; sturdy black shoes that say “I shall remain on my feet until called upon to do otherwise, madam.”

Hello. My name is Pearl. May I refresh your drink?

I take you back to last Saturday night, where you are to picture me smiling and deferential.

Paulie was there.

Paulie’s a star, you know.

“We filmed for a week,” he says, arranging the bacon-wrapped scallops on a tray. “It’s going to be on TV this spring.”

King of the grill, maker of spoon-licking-good dressings and sauces, drinker of vodka and one snappy dresser, Paulie will represent Nye’s Polonaise on an upcoming episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

“Not that it will affect how I treat you,” he says, casually, a regal wave of his hand encompassing us all. “Hey, which one of you wants to rub my temples whilst I whisk?”

We laugh. Because that’s what you do when your chef makes demands. You laugh.

Being in the presence of a budding celebrity, however, does not affect the job at hand. Gol’ dang it, people, we have jobs to do! We can’t just stand around, feeding Paulie peeled grapes and massaging his various roasts and loins!

Saturday evening’s job was a private party in a home large enough to comfortably hold a dinner party of 17.

We served, and we served well, Mary, Min, and I being the very face of cheerful diligence. We served, filled, delivered, removed, scraped, stacked, and hauled.

And then we wiped and swept our way out the front door and into the brittle expanse of stars wheeling overhead. It was shortly before midnight when we stepped out the front door. We had been on our smiling, running feet for seven hours.

As a certain disco-style singer was observed to croon:  she works hard for the money.

“I think my spine has been compressed. Do I look shorter to you?”

I look over at Mary, who is sitting under the pile of blankets I keep in the car for those awkward moments before the heater kicks in – roughly from October to May.

“Yes,” I say.

She moans softly. “Do your feet hurt?”

“They hurt so bad that I think they might be your feet.”

She sighs. “Still,” she says, looking up through the windshield, “it’s a beautiful night, isn’t it?”

I lean forward, gaze up through the windshield. We are far enough away from the city that the stars are a brilliantly winking sea of bright white and blue lights.

She’s right.

It’s a beautiful night.

20 comments:

Shelly said...

Love this story. I took my wrist splint off a few days ago because it was driving me nuts. However, if you've reinjured yours, maybe I should be a bit more careful. How did you hurt them again? Shootin' pool wit' the kittehs? Doing handstands in yoga class? Backhanding the squat bald man in your head?

Be careful, Pearlie! Take care of those wristies!

Cheryl K said...

Ha! Saw that episode this weekend on a Food Channel marathon! Nice.

Pearl said...

Shelly, took a 75-minute yoga class Sunday, and it appears that was enough to do it. :-) Ridiculous.

Cheryl, yep! That was Paulie!

vanilla said...

Ease up on those beleaguered wrists. Not that we don't enjoy the reread, but hey, take care of yourself.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Oh, not the wrist-icles! again!
Love this, the slice-of-life-edness of it. You make your friends seem . . . larger than life. :)

Pearl said...

vanilla, it's tiring, that's for sure.

Dawn, I just want to show a bit of a day, to show reality in its best light. Not to mention that some of my friends ARE larger than life. :-)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Who knew Yoga could be so hazardous! :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

All kidding aside, I hope your wrist feels better soon Pearl.

Pearl said...

Optimistic, it's been an ongoing concern for most of the summer. It's getting boring!!

jenny_o said...

Seventy-five minutes of yoga ... a lot more than wrists would be hurting on me! Ya gotta ease into the routine, girl!

Delores said...

Too much too soon.

savannah said...

great read, sugar! take care of yourself, please. ;) xoxoxoxox

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Have you thought of going bionic with those wrists? I hear Walmart might add metal body parts to their inventory.

Elephant's Child said...

Take care of yourself. Please.

jabblog said...

The trouble is that wrists are so necessary in daily life. Take care and heal.

River said...

poor wrists :(

ummm, massaging Paulie's roasts and loins??

on the other hand, it was a beautiful night. Cold yet starry.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I double Delores and see Jenny-O's bid... tsk, Pearl, take those wrists seriously!

Meanwhile, I do love a starry, starry night... Hugs, YAM xx

Daisy said...

I hope your wrists are feeling better. Maybe you should tell Paulie to rub his own temples!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Loved it

Diane Tolley said...

I would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you and Mary in my blacks and whites and sturdy (but serviceable) footwear anytime. Just call. Please allow for the six-hour commute.
P.S. Ah, to be far enough away from the light pollution to actually see those pinpricks of light against a black, velvet backdrop. Unfortunately, like you Minnesotans, we Albertans see them most clearly through frosty air.