A Restaurant from the Perspective of a Dishwasher

A Restaurant from the Perspective of a Dishwasher

It is nearly Christmas. The end of the year is drawing to a close and I realize I will again be late on rent at the start of month. I have no money left, and there is no work. Then – there is work available in my old friend Boron’s restaurant. He tells me I can fill a dishwashing position recently vacated to help, as he terms it, get him through the holidays. This is a notoriously busy time of year for restaurants, hotels, and other fixtures of the hospitality industry, when families come together, travelers arrive in town, and large companies plan large parties to spend excessive amounts of money on food and drink. A lot has changed – Boron tells me over the phone – I’ve had to make a few adjustments. All for the better, of course. It’s a volatile thing, the service industry. Hospitality. What people expect. We must adapt or fall behind. I am to meet with him today to talk and take a tour of the restaurant. I wait for him at the bar, sitting on a stool and staring ahead at the colored bottles of cognac, chartreuse, fernet, gin and whiskey arranged neatly on back-lit shelves. My toes barely touching the hexagonal penny tile of the floor. When I finally see him I almost do not recognize him – he is no longer the young teenager I once knew, bright-eyed and , unwashed and underfed. He is now a hardened man of twenty-four, with multiple employees under his direction, and the state of a stylish restaurant in one of the city’s most...
Now India (7 Minutes to Sunrise)

Now India (7 Minutes to Sunrise)

The first sounds of the morning are of tuk-tuk and taxi engines as they come to life, their honking horns alongside the footsteps of the city’s informal working class taking to the streets. And, even earlier than that, the song and chant of Hindu morning prayer, and the feral dogs that slink to the shadows to sleep, no longer dominant as the sun begins its climb from behind Agra, India’s low hills.

The Depths of Finer Things

The Depths of Finer Things

The first time I died, Ima tells me, the sun flared its great, fiery disc and swallowed the whole world in a moment. And everything that had been was then no more. The second time I died, it was at the hands of a grand, dark army, their bayonets through my stomach and heart. And when I fell their boots marched over my corpse as though a body that falls was never standing to begin with.

Duality: On Conscience and Guilt

Duality: On Conscience and Guilt

The morning. Baby and I arrive in Berlin just after eight. It’s raining. A cold mist cleaves the streets. We left early and our eyes are half-open from half-sleep on the train. We lost our tickets crossing Karstädt and had to search our bags, our pockets, the floor when the conductor asked us where they were. We finally found them at the bottom of the valise, tucked away for safe keeping.

Bury Me in St. Paul

Bury Me in St. Paul

It is a warm and humid night in summer. The sound of dogs barking on the street. The sound of crickets from the brush and cicadas in trees. Fireflies flash like tiny cameras through the grass along rows of dark cars parked along the curb.