Sunday, February 15, 2009

For servers, Valentine's Day is not the candy-coated, pink-heart-shaped day you probably think of. Like a lot of things, that day is reserved for customers. Just like you enjoy the clean, atmospheric dining room while we see primarily the greasy kitchen with two years of dust under the fridge, it's my job to take a section of ten in a rush that goes all. day. long. And, of course, to do it with a smile on my face -- gee, aren't we all just so goddamn cheery today?

(Waitresses, too, look very different depending on whether or not you've caught them in the dining room or kitchen. Dining room: houseplants and smiling waitresses. Kitchen: greasespots and snarling bitches.)

It bothers me a bit that no one seemed aware that yesterday we were celebrating something much, much bigger. You see, as of about 8 a.m. yesterday, we had a peculiar cosmic alignment: yes indeed, the moon was seen in the seventh house, and jupiter lined up just nicely with mars. It would seem that the age of aquarius is here at last. For those keeping track, this only happens about once every 2000 years.

At any rate, I found myself sweeping the rather disgusting floor after a long day yesterday. A six-hour rush will leave some dirt, I tell ya, and we didn't make it home until well, well after closing. But as I swept under each little cafe-style table, I went over all that had transpired there throughout the day. A few got stood up. A few were asked to leave, or at least reminded that this was a family establishment. A few went smoothly. I saw two breakups.

Coffeeboy waited patiently with - what else? - a coffee for me to be finished. We took home the remaining chocolate-covered strawberries, but I had warned him well in advance that we weren't acknowledging the dreaded V-day that is not only a ridiculous Halmark holiday, but looks even worse from the inside. So we didn't.

He did, however, make me the single best fettucine alfredo I've ever tasted. And he did wrap his arms around me and dance with me in the kitchen, which may be in a crowded apartment but has no grease spots I can see, and we celebrated just us, the collective us, swirling around out there in space trying to make something out of the stars.

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