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Monthly Archives: October 2017

Lexi had moved her car next to Bill’s and she was waiting for him out in the parking lot. When he approached his car she got out of hers.

“Let’s talk a moment,” she said.

Bill got in and opened the passenger door for her. She slid in, closed the door and immediately leaned over the stick shift to kiss him. Their tongues met. Bill was instantly turned on.

“I have to go home,” he said.

“I understand. I just wanted you to see I listen to instructions.” She reached for his hand and took it so he could discover she wore no underwear. She leaned back in the seat and kept his hand, led it with hers until she finished. Then she kissed him again and asked if he wanted her to reciprocate.

“When you working?”

“Tomorrow night.”

“You closing?”

“Yup.”

“That’s it then.”

“Mmm, I can’t wait.” Lexi smiled, kissed him and opened the door. “It’s what I want,” she said as she got out.

Monday morning, five AM, Bill popped a black beauty and drank a beer while he took a shower. She had been out when he got home. He was asleep when she slid into the bed next to him. She was sleeping when he got up, when he left. They hadn’t really seen each other. They hadn’t spoken. She hadn’t left him a note.

Tim had had a small dinner party that night. That’s where she was, though in the scope of things it didn’t matter much where. Jack and Rell had been there and a few other dancers. They had smoked weed and drunk wine. Rell was tripping. He was always tripping. Tim would hang himself on a tree in Battery Park some ten, maybe twelve years later. No one would have any indication of why.

Bill went home between shifts that day because they hadn’t seen each other. Meanwhile, Bea had been quick to collect hers early in the morning. She was relatively easy to please and Bill used her to satisfy himself too.

He got home at two-thirty and had to leave again at three-thirty. That was why he generally stayed at the restaurant and worked straight through. A little after four, when he got back, he smoked a joint in his car before heading inside. He stayed upstairs and helped Mary set up the line, finishing with taking the baked potatoes from the convection oven. Then, downstairs, he drank some bourbon before carrying up the meat trays. When the steaks were laid in, he checked the French fries, fried shrimp, pickerel and onion rings. He brought up what was needed and was done.

Henry Lee was all caught up and didn’t need any meat cut. Bill went into the party room and sat in the dark where he put his feet up and quickly fell off into a good nap. He would have slept longer if Marie and Henry Lee hadn’t broken out into another spat. Henry Lee called her some choice words. She reciprocated with some choice words of her own. Then there was a slap and a crash and finally he heard the bathroom door slam.

“Yeah man, what it is,” Henry Lee said. “She’s more trouble than she’s worth.”

“I hear you.”

“Anyway, life goes on. Like I told you, you want some of her, go for it.”

“I’m trying to keep her away. Ain’t easy sometimes.”

“Well, do as you do.”

Mary came down a few minutes later. She and Henry Lee went into the deep freeze to get high. While they were in there Bill took a drink and went up to the kitchen floor. Marie was over with Bea. Bea was gathering her things, getting ready to go home. Jimmy and Grandma were not in yet. Bill went through the line. He checked everything from the meat trays to the frozen foods, stirred anything that could be stirred. Satisfied, he went around to Mary’s stoves, noted everything there and make sure it was all okay.

Out in the hall, he sat on the milk cases and rested.

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kitchen-4Sometimes Sundays surprised everyone. This day, thankfully, was not one of those. Lexi and Victoria were working, as was Norma and Lorraine. Three girls would have been enough, but the fourth was for in case, in case it got really busy. On a normal night they had at least four, depending upon which night of the week, and from Wednesday to Saturday they had more. Friday and Saturday they had seven, sometimes eight waitresses.

Bill did not see Lexi come in. The first time he saw her she was in her work clothes. Same for Lorraine and Victoria, but Norma came in through the back door so she said hello from the hall before going down the back stairs. She wore tight jeans and heels, a low-cut sweater-blouse and a Pea Coat. The Pea Coat was open so Bill could see her bosom, could see she wasn’t wearing, it didn’t appear as if she were wearing, a bra. Later he would find out she wasn’t. Norma was one of those waitresses who would offer her male customers a nice view so as to get a better tip. Bill would discover waitresses who would pinch their nipples or apply ice to them to make them stiff so they would show through their blouses.

Grandma did not work on Sundays and Jimmy came in at six and usually left at nine. They closed at eleven so Bill had one night in the week he could get home early, when his fiancé was still awake, or generally so anyway.

This Sunday, like many, he spent a lot of time sitting in the hallway. After Mary, Bea and Henry Lee were gone, Marie moseyed on out to the hall. Jimmy took to sitting on Bea’s stool in the corner of the kitchen by the pantry station.

Marie didn’t say anything. She sat opposite Bill and crossed her legs. After a few moments, she uncrossed them and crossed them the other way.

“Life sucks,” she said.

“Sometimes yes and sometimes no.”

“Got any weed?”

“Yeah.”

“Wanna help a girl out?”

“Sure.”

Bill told Jimmy where they were going. Jimmy didn’t care. He could put up any salad orders that came in and then start the dinners. He told Bill not to be too long. Bill knew he and Marie could not both be gone long, so he assured Jimmy they’d be right back.

As soon as they were they in the deep freeze, Marie took off her mitt and started feeling Bill up. He pushed her hand away, but she kept on until her hand was so cold she put the mitt back on. But then she lifted her dress and let Bill see her bald coochie.

Back in the meat room, she asked for some bourbon. When Bill got it for her, she pressed him against the counter and took his hand up her dress.

“Cooperate, goddammit.”

“Leave me alone.”

“Why should I?”

“Cause I’m not getting involved with you and Henry Lee.”

“We’ll see about that.”

While she took a drink, he reached up under her dress and pushed aside her panties to get a real feel. He let his fingers linger a moment then stopped and moved away from her slightly.

“Happy now?”

“It’s a start.”

“What do you want?”

Finished drinking, Marie stepped back in toward Bill and whispered something in his ear. Not generally one to be shocked, what Marie told him nearly took his breath away.

“Jesus Christ,” he said.

“And then some.” Marie blushed.

“I don’t know,” Bill said. “Anyway, we have to get upstairs.”

Bill gave Jimmy plenty of time off. All the while they hadn’t had one order, but when Jimmy went down the stairs, several orders came in. Marie set about taking care of the salads. Bill started the items ordered on the Garland.

At nine-thirty Bill broke down the steam table and scrubbed the line. It was change-the-grease night, the last thing he would do before putting away the leftover food. It was all he could do to get out without Marie molesting him.

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kitchen-4“Just yes. Night Victoria.”

“Night, love.” She stepped close and kissed Bill on his cheek. “See you at lunch Monday. Another shitty shift for me.”

Bill didn’t say anything. There was nothing to say. Tommy made the schedule up to a point, but Drenovis oversaw everything. That was because he knew all the waitresses and some of them he used interchangeably between both stores. Victoria, thus far, was not one of the interchangeable ones, but sometimes he overrode Tommy’s schedule by claiming he needed someone over on the west side. It was all designed to either get Victoria to submit or get her to quit so he could replace her with someone who would submit to whatever he wanted.

The best Bill could do for her was make it easier on her. Tommy too. Tommy gave her the best shifts he could and he made sure she had the best stations. The front dining room filled first and turned over quicker, so he made sure she was in the front room. Bill gave her steak and pie when she wanted it. She could also drink from his beer when she wanted. He also made sure to push her orders out first so she could service her customers quickly and efficiently. This way she could turn her tables faster too.

Sunday was a quiet day. As they did every Sunday, they opened late, served only dinner and closed an hour early. Henry Lee came in for only half a day. He cut steaks for the day and to start Monday for both stores. Mary and Bea came late, after church. At church, they sat with Alfreda and their kids. Robert, who had a truly gifted voice, led the choir.

So when Mary came in she was dressed up. She had a church dress on with nylons and heels. She was made up, fully made up with rouge and lipstick. Her nails were done and she was spiffy. Every Sunday, Bill noted, she was spiffy, and once they’d become intimate, he loved messing with her on Sundays when she went down to change. He particularly liked that she wore a garter belt, and he liked kissing up her thighs when she would let him. As often as he could, when he was in before her, he would take her by the hand into the ladies’ room and push her up on the sink counter. She would protest, not so much because she didn’t want him to do what he did, but because it was the fashionable, the lady-like thing to do, especially on Sundays.

Lately Mary had taken to chiding him, asking if he would prefer one of his little waitress friends. Bill was quick-witted and reminded her that she had told him if  he wanted real loving, he would find it with her, not with them.

“Dammit, boy,” Mary said when he grabbed her hand, “I just heard the preacher talking about fornicating.”

“Forn-a-what?”

“Don’t play stupid.”

“I’m not playing.”

Because it was a lazy day, what was generally a slow one, they took their time. A whole half-hour they stayed in that ladies’ room, enough time for them both to be noticed missing.

“We’re gonna get in trouble.”

“You know what I say to that.”

“I’m gonna kill you.”

“Shut up and enjoy yourself. Let’s go to the Upper Room one night this week.”

Bill let Mary go up first. He didn’t go up empty-handed. He carted two meat trays up on his shoulder, trays with steaks that needed to be used first. He’d taken a long drink of bourbon in the meat room before coming up the stairs, and he’d rolled several joints. He, Mary and Henry Lee would all get high in a little while and then they would coast through the day’s work.

“I get my turn tomorrow,” said Bea when they were together upstairs.

Rose’s Story is now available on Amazon. Pick up a copy today!

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kitchen-4About quarter to midnight that Saturday, Lexi came into the kitchen. She carried a beer for Bill and had two orders which she turned in. They were straightforward enough. One was for two hamburgers medium, one was for three steaks, a queen, a super and a Boston all medium-rare. Bill was in the process of cleaning up, not that he had gotten much done yet since there were orders almost all the time. He had managed to get his soap water and brush, but because they were open late and there were orders, he had not broken down the steam table yet or begun to strain the grease.

He and Lexi hadn’t had time to even to talk alone since their last interplay. Both she and Victoria were on now and had customers. It was all work for everyone.

Jim had said something about the beer again. This was the fourth time. Bill was being as easy as he could about it, not wanting to tick Jim off and not wanting to make him feel bad. But one rule that could not be broken, not technically at least, was giving alcoholic beverages to the dishwashers. He was sure he could give Jim a beer and not get fired for it, but no way was he going to. Jim was a wildcard. Bill wasn’t messing with a wildcard.

He did have Lexi bring a pitcher of soda for the dishwasher crew. Andy, the kind-of-crazy, bald-headed pot washer, was working tonight. Andy had strange eyes. Jim had dead eyes. Paul had alive and alert eyes. He was  ADHD in a time when they hadn’t even labeled it yet. It was called Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder at that time and Paul was not diagnosed. Mickey, the pimp, a relatively new man on the team, smoked a lot and just did his work.

Bill called Mickey the pimp because out of the blue, one early evening, Mickey approached him and asked if he wanted to meet some young ladies. Bill was curious and asked Mickey what he meant and who they were. Mickey said they were just some lovely young women who boarded where he did who were looking to meet a nice young man. He said they were pretty, just a little on the big side, and he said they would be happy to pay him to come over and meet them. Hence, the pimp.

The dishwashers were grateful for the soda. They stowed the pitcher where it would not get bothered and was easily accessible. Lexi was nice. She gave them the pitcher, smiled and said hello. She was always nice to them, and overall she was nice all around to almost everyone. Drenovis did not like her because he did not hire her and he couldn’t get in her pants. Bill was thinking that when he and she did end up together it would double-irk Drenovis, and this was a good thing in his eyes. But Lexi, he knew, had to be forewarned about the fallout from their fraternizing. He was sure there would be repercussions and he didn’t want to be responsible for her getting canned.

Victoria said good night at twelve-thirty. She came into the kitchen in her street clothes, carrying another beer for Bill. She already had her coat on.

“There’s more people coming in,” she said.

Bill was busy scrubbing now and he had, in the last twenty minutes, strained both fryers. The steam table was broken down and the food was lined up on Mary’s back counter, ready to be put into the walk-in.

“Lucky me.”

“Tommy said to tell you he isn’t closing up if you get more walk-ins. He said he’d let Lexi let you know when there’ll be no more orders.”

“Okie dokie,” Bill said. He stopped working and faced Victoria, gave her a serious look-over.

“What?” she asked.

Bill smiled. “Nothing,” he said.

“Tell me.”

“Yes.”

“Yes what?”

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kitchen-4And another and another and another. One after the next, days rolled on.

Marie’s black eyes healed. She and Henry Lee went on fooling around. Bill said something to Henry Lee about Marie’s rejection-aggression so she quit messing with him. He didn’t want to get her fired. No one knew it yet but Alfreda would dispense with Marie.

They never heard about the robbery again. They never found out if the thieves were caught or the exact amount that was stolen. It was never the same opening up the restaurant anymore. Bill and Tommy always went in first and checked to make sure no one was inside. Only then did Mary and Bea follow in.

Lorraine and Bill established a relationship, a friendship which included intimacy every so often. Bill let Lorraine control that. They always went to her friend’s apartment. Bill learned what made Lorraine happy. She ate steak when she wanted, but like the trouper she was, she didn’t abuse the privilege. Bill discovered that she was easy to please and fun all around.

Two days after he had tripped, Lexi was closing girl. It had been a no-fun Saturday night for Bill, a Saturday with State playing ball at home. They were extremely busy so he and Jimmy had worked hard. Alvin had come over from the west side and worked the middle for a few hours. Tommy came in the kitchen around nine-thirty to relieve Lillian for fifteen minutes so she could get a drink and catch a smoke.

Alvin, fat and funky, wore his shirt out of his pants and he didn’t wear an apron. Sometimes you could see his fat belly where the shirt split open. He never came to work clean-shaven, always had a stubble, not the cute Hollywood stubble. He ate two orders of grandma’s chicken before he cut out, before Grandma cut out. He sat out in the hall stuffing his face, happily drinking a beer that he had made Victoria get him. He was sweet on Victoria and was looking for a way to make her be sweet to him, but that was never gonna happen. She hadn’t appeased Drenovis and she surely wasn’t giving it to funky Alvin.

She told Bill this out in the hall when everyone was gone, when the waitresses were ordering their dinners and Bill was taking in the cool air while the few things on the grill were working.

“He always makes me get him shit when he’s here.”

“He likes you.”

“No! Ya think?”

“Sarcasm. I like that.”

“You would.”

“Eat me.”

“You wish.”

“Actually we’re better just the way we are.”

“Why? Don’t you like me?”

“You’re not gonna start that?”

“Nope. Just razzing you. Am I pretty enough?”

Bill looked at Victoria. He didn’t answer. He went to the broiler and flipped the things cooking, then he set up the plates along the shelf. Victoria came in with him and stood on the other side of the line where they picked up their food from the serving shelf under the warmer lights.

“You’re messing with my head, aren’t you?” Bill started plating things, a hamburger very rare for one of the waitresses, a chopped steak medium for another. Victoria had asked for an order of onion rings that Bill hadn’t dropped yet. He also plated two steaks that were for an order and put the sides to them, set the plates under the warmer lights then hit the bell. Lexi came in a moment later.

When everything was gone, Victoria stood eating her onion rings out in the hall. Bill stood opposite her, leaning against the wall. He smoked a cigarette and was drinking a beer which he offered to Victoria.

“You never answered me,” she said.

“You are messing with my head.”

“Maybe I want to know.”

“I don’t get it,” Bill said.

“What don’t you get?”

“Women. I just don’t get you all.”

Victoria laughed. “You’re not supposed to. You’re supposed to be kept guessing.”

Rose’s Story is now available on Amazon. Pick up a copy today!

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kitchen-4

Bill was coming down from the trip. He was drinking a beer and hanging out by the door to the hall.

Lillian had just come into the kitchen. Bill watched her fold and set up the three towels she would use to hold the dupes. When she finished, she pulled over Bea’s stool. Then she got herself a mug of coffee and sat herself down.

Lillian was always the same. She wore a white kitchen dress, white nurse’s shoes with white hose. She had white hair and granny glasses. She only stood five-three but she had a raspy smoker’s voice, deep and steady.

“Good evening,” she said when Bill stepped on the line. She said it again when Jimmy stepped on. “What’s with the sunglasses?” she asked, gesturing toward Marie.

“Stung by a bee,” Bill said.

“Sure. And I was born yesterday.” She laughed. “Who gave her the shiner?”

“Who else?”

Lillian shrugged her shoulders. “Oh, I thought maybe her husband found out. Busy last night?”

“Very.”

“Good. They’re playing home tonight, so we should get a bump.”

“We’re always ready.”

Lillian sipped her coffee. Marie was stirring her salad dressings and making sure all her desserts were set and ready to go. When she finished, she walked out to the hall and sat where she could see her station. She sat swinging her knees and lifting her dress up and down to fan her legs.

Bill watched her a moment. He remembered the other day. Henry Lee had offered her to him then she’d offered herself to him. He remembered walking in on her and Henry Lee in the men’s room. He laughed to himself, thought they should have hung a towel on the handle.

Seeing him watching her, Marie lowered the sunglasses a bit and peered at him over them. She let her legs stay open and lifted her dress. Then she stuck her tongue out at him and gave him the finger. Bill made the notorious male gesture, grabbing himself there, then he flipped her the fingers-on-the-chin bird.

“We have to stop the animosity,” he told her a little later when he went by her station and took himself some cocktail shrimp to eat.

“Bite me.”

“Watch your step, girl.”

“Why? What you gonna do?”

“Jesus Christ. I’m trying to be square with you.”

“Maybe you should give me some of that weed and take me to the storeroom. I don’t like being turned down.”

“Maybe you should stick to Henry Lee.”

“He don’t care.”

“Jesus Christ,” Bill said again.

The quiet didn’t last long. Waitresses gave Lillian orders and before they knew it a good dinner rush started up. What they couldn’t see was that it would go straight through so that they worked way past ten with no let-up. Twice Tommy came in to let them know both dining rooms were full and people were waiting. Twice Bill got himself coffee and popped aspirin to ease his speedy-head headache.

Then it was over and tapering down. Lexi brought Bill a beer and a soda for Jimmy. Lillian was standing, returning the stool to its corner. Grandma was cleaning up.

Bill sat awhile out in the hall as he took a moment to smoke a cigarette and drink the beer. He didn’t have but a moment until the next orders came in. He and Jimmy worked these. Grandma  cleaned up and was dressed to go home by the time they emptied the board. Jimmy left right after grandma. Bill went straight into cleanup and cooking the waitresses’ meals.

Just another day.

Rose’s Story is now available on Amazon. Pick up a copy today!

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abstraction2illusion

 

Round about 1975 I wrote a short story called Illusions, Abstractions and Charades. I resurrected it not too long ago and though I haven’t started work on it yet, the Senate Committee report the other day reminded me of the story’s title. We are living in an age of illusions, abstractions and charades. We are living in a dangerous time, a time made more dangerous not by the real threats out there, but by the self-interests of our leaders, by their greed and insatiable desire for power.

Let me let President Trump off the hook here. I honestly believe he personally is only interested in actually bettering America. I believe he means what his slogans say. You might disagree with him and his ways, and you might disagree with his policies, but I credit him with that honesty and sincerity.

And let me be clear here too. I do not feel the same way about Obama. I believe he had disdain for America, if not outright contempt. I believe he had an agenda designed to destroy the America he disliked and worked tirelessly to achieve that agenda. If asked for proof, I would assert that his ties to organizations funded by George Soros, and his surrounding himself with people tied to Soros’ secret web of funding, clearly show a desire to de-stabilize and de-power America.

Obama, more than any modern president, veiled himself and his administration in illusions, abstractions and charades all the while claiming he was the most transparent president ever. He got away with his malarkey because the liberal press refused to call him out on it. He got away with it because he was allowed to and he was allowed to because of his color. Yes! I said it. Obama mostly went unchallenged for two reasons. First,  he suited the leftist ideology and furthered their unbridled quest for absolute power over this country. Second was his color and the fear of being labeled a racist if you challenged him.

Will I be called a racist for writing this? It’s a good bet.

Now as for most of  the other politicians, regardless of their political party and their personal beliefs, they are part of that swamp, the actual swamp monsters, more diabolical than real monsters because they are smart enough and deceptive enough to pretend that they really care about you and America. In reality, they are only scamming us, creating the illusions, abstractions and charades under which we are living.

But it’s not only the politicians anymore. Like it or not, the media is dishonest and biased. They advance and perpetuate a false narrative of what is actually going on in this country and the world. They create straw enemies in order to hide the real threats out there. Many of the media outlets are now owned and influenced by  pro-left, anti-Trump interests and operate under the same veil of illusions, abstractions and charades as do the majority of our politicians.

So let’s call out some of the major political illusions, abstractions and charades. First and foremost is Obamacare. It was not designed to provide medical coverage for those who were needy. It was designed to infuse government control into every aspect of our daily lives and to redistribute the wealth in America. Second is this leftist narrative of desire for equality. They would have you believe they care about the poor, the minorities, the downtrodden and their causes like women’s rights, gay rights, etc. Equality of itself is an illusion they hold on to. The law already provides for equal rights. The politicians only use these narratives and issues to garner votes, to maintain power, to get reelection. Their feigned concern is smoke and mirrors, an integral part of their elaborate scheme of illusions, abstractions and charades.

Gun control, immigration and illegal aliens’ rights, climate change, the war on poverty, on and on…their illusions, abstractions and charades are designed to keep us from seeing what they’re really doing, which is enrich and empower themselves while keeping us divided and subservient so we don’t mount an effective campaign to oust them all.

Rose’s Story is now available on Amazon. Pick up a copy today!

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