The last of my last cup of coffee for the day sits mostly finished in the kitchen. I'm on to beer now, though drinking slowly as I still have to get out and pick Momma up, hopefully soon.
This week that began so . . . less than spectacular, has ended with me feeling better than I have in ages, yet I'm physically worn down to a state we in the south refer to as plumb wore out. I tried to post earlier, while I was drinking number one of my evening cups of coffee, yet for all my effort, I was unable to stay awake while sitting at the computer, my attempt to blog completely in vain.
My two week notice at the bar was cut short by management. I secretly wonder if my tales of cooking glory at the gastropub had them concerned that their other cooks would revolt and leave the ship. Perhaps they really didn't need me anymore with their acquisition of two new cooks who would be quite able to fill out the schedule. Perhaps it's a bit grandiose of me to even imagine the former when the latter is quite likely the truth.
As it happened, one of the managers, on what became my second to last shift, informed me that, if I wanted, I could cut the two week notice in half, but she also admitted that if I needed the shifts I'd be welcome to them. The fact is, the g-pub coworkers had earlier suggested that I need not work out the full two weeks as they could very easily find shifts for me to pick up. My decision originally to work the two weeks was driven as much by my desire to act in an honorable manner as well as my complete lack of desire to anger the people that feed me my beer when I get that rare night out.
In an absolute orgy of work-Tuesday night, closed the bar, leaving at nearly four a.m. Arrived home for a couple of last winding down beers and two hours of sleep. Wednesday morning, popped out of bed manically, quite ready for my first g-pub shift, which I must admit I loved. Left the g-pub shortly before three, walked around the corner to the pizza place in which I used to be kitchen manager, ate a hamburger while downing two beers and walked back down the street to the bar where I was scheduled to work at four. That shift lasted till eight and was the shift during which I was informed that I could be quit of the place as an employee a week early. As the shift ended I drank my two shift beers and a third beer I happily paid for before walking back to the g-pub, both to enjoy yet another beer as well as to inform my new overlords of the change in my fate which allows them to work me to death beginning a week sooner than we'd previously thought. With that I was on my way home to Momma and a couple more beers and stupidly keeping myself up later than makes sense. Thursday was full of yard work, mowing the grass twice as it had already grown too tall to reasonably manage followed by soccer practice where I, contrary to what I'd promised myself, did run around, work up a sweat, tire myself, get my ankle stomped harder than a nine year old should be able to land. Practice ended at seven thrity giving me just enough time to make it back to my final shift at the bar ten minutes late, yet another closing shift, and yet another moment of finishing at nearly four in the morning. This morning was back to the g-pub at nine, a slightly late start, and non stop slicing and dicing and toting and mixing and done in time to run home in time to bring Momma back for her shift. That in turn was followed by a trip to the bank, the food co-op, the free air at the gas station and then the grocery store.
At some point in all this I have to tell you about the feeling, the thought that didn't occur to me till some random time between that first g-pub shift and earlier tonight. It's a moment that I tried to include in the ill fated posting from earlier, the post during which my chin couldn't seem to stop attempting to kiss my chest, my heavy eyelids dragging themselves and my head down into the sandman's own domain.
This isn't a feeling I had once in my three days at the sushi bar, if you remember that ill fated experiment. It never once came to me at the bar. It came to me at the g-pub but was unrecognized. I think it may have happened to have been in the air or was some sort of pheromone like thing I exuded but only to heighten my own senses as opposed to those around me. Perhaps it began as I tied the apron around myself, getting it just so in its old place below my belt while I tried to pinch my boxers through my jeans to ease them back down, getting that just right alignment of pants, apron and underwear that only lasts as long as I can avoid reaching the least bit upward. Perhaps it was the also familiar tucking of the towel into my back pocket. I'm not sure exactly when or where or even how, but I realized later what it was. It was a feeling I haven't had in all the years of attempting to be a stay at home dad. It was a feeling I didn't realize I missed till I realized it was back. It was a recognition of my place in a kitchen. It was a recognition in that kitchen that I was finally back home.
Home! I'm a lifer. The back aches for the feel of standing perched between keg and shelf as I finagle that box of bread off the top shelf just close enough to realize it's the wrong bread. It's the tap tap tap of my knife turning an onion into slivers. It's the feeling of the dressed salad not cooperating with my attempt to get just a little more height. The only feeling even close to this lately was my coming out not so long ago.
I think I'm finally unslumping myself, and it feels good. It also feels good to once more know that I've earned being this tired. I won't see the kitchen again till next week, and I think I might be getting a wee bit impatient.