The bad and the ugly were bad and ugly. Boredom seeped in quickly in the kitchens for Bill. He learned everything and after learning it what remained was just simple practice, teaching the hands to do the same thing over and over the same way every time. Over the years he would accumulate story after story of how much he had to practice for certain things, and if in retrospect they were funny, also in retrospect they were thematic in that they all exemplified his innate ineptitude in eye-hand coordination matters.
The bad? Idle hands make the devil’s workshop. Bill learned anything a good cook did would be tolerated as long as the cook could do his job. More than anything would be tolerated if the cook was great at his job, and Bill was a great broiler cook once he’d learned the job. He was great at it because it depended more upon his mind than upon his hands. He had to remember orders, what went with what and how things were cooked, and Bill could do this. In fact, he excelled at it. In fact it made him a great line cook and prep cook too and what Mary saw in him was his likeness to Yulie, whom she had loved, not only in his abilities but in his substance abuse. Mary had no option but to fall for Bill.
So being bored and being young and at the peak of his sexual prowess, Bill discovered that not only was he interested in waitresses and kitchen girls, but he could get them if he wanted. Henry Lee taught him that. Henry Lee taught him he could have anyone he wanted. The bad? Even though he was engaged and living with his fiancé, Bill discovered that he wanted.
The ugly? Everyone was fooling around and they were all willing to fool around with Bill. Interestingly, Bill had metamorphosed from a dorky, four-eyed, chubby kid with a crew-cut to a thin, very desirable twenty year old in a position of power and desirability. That was a lethal combination.
Eleanor, no longer at Suburban, had happened accidentally. Bea was just Bea, middle-aged, not getting any at home and horny as hell. Alfreda was angry at Henry Lee who was currently hittin’ it with Marie. Alfreda was out for paybacks and Bill was readily available. Ugly all around, except she was cute and Bill was cute and there it was. Norma was thrust upon Bill by Drenovis. Drenovis maybe was the ugliest of all because he used his power-position to hit it with every waitress, or most of them anyway, and Drenovis tried to use Norma to get Bill to fight with Lorraine. That backfired and instead Bill got with Norma and still messed with her from time to time. Norma was a put-it-anywhere girl.
Lorraine did not figure into any of this. Lorraine was hired by Tommy, not by Drenovis, and she was just an innocent bystander. She had managed to stay apart from it all, to just do her job and go home to her kids. Lorraine had a story and it was an ugly one, Bill would learn, about an abusive husband who drank too much and beat her up. Unfortunately, this was an all-too-common story for those days, for all days, Bill would discover. Lorraine had not been with anyone for several years, and so when she offered herself to Bill, it was a complicated issue. Bill could never be sure it was to keep her job safe. He could never be sure if it was out of job-insecurity and her need to support two daughters or simply, like Bea, because she was a middle-age woman not getting any and really wanting to get some.
The good, the bad and the ugly permeated everything in the kitchens. Huh Glory and Lord Have Mercy. Mercy, mercy me.
Coming This Month:
The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide