I am at work and I am starving. Seriously, I am about to gnaw my own hand off but I remember that we don’t have a busser tonight so I would be the one who would have to clean up the mess. There is enough crap to clean up as it is and I certainly don’t need to add to the list. Besides, I mopped the floors before we opened and I’m pretty sure if I eat my hand off, the mop would need to make a reappearance and that ain’t happening. My shift begins at 4:00 and ends at 11:00. That is a long time to go without eating any food. Sure, I can have lunch at 3:00 before work, but by 8:00, I am hungry enough to consider eating leftover french fries from the old man at Table 7. Of course I don’t do that because whenever that old man talks, he sprays saliva over everything. Standing near him must feel like when you’re in one of those little boats that take you right up to Niagara Falls; Maids of the Mist, I think they call them. When this old man comes in, he should supply everyone around him with umbrellas, galoshes, raincoats and visors because it’s a fucking spit monsoon when he talks. Therefore, his french fries are probably soggy and I will not be eating them.
I won’t even discuss what my shift meal was because it was a plate of slop that made for a good Instagram video but was not fit for human consumption. I chose to not eat it and now I am paying the price. My stomach is growling loud enough for customers to wonder if there’s a storm a brewin’ outside.
Table 16 orders the mac and cheese appetizer and as I am carrying it to their table, I feel my mouth watering and I cannot be sure that a drop or two of drool does not escape my lips. It may look like I am wearing Lip Smackers Lip Gloss, but that shine on my lips is pure slobber, 100%. The breadcrumbs and parmesan are a golden crispy brown on top and it’s practically begging me to bury my face in it.
“That looks so delicious,” says the woman who ordered it.
“Fuck you,” I think.
I head over to the kitchen to see if I can convince Juan to throw me a few fries. “Yo tengo mucho hambre,” I tell him.
As is the norm, he cares not about the shooting pains of hunger that are jolting through my malnourished body. He isn’t hungry because he ate the shift meal. He doesn’t mind dry chicken wings with two kinds of pasta that is swimming in a vat of oil and hatred. I do. My only option is a piece of bread. I slather it with butter and imagine that it has a protein on it, like pizza or a Big Mac. I wash it down with seltzer because I read somewhere once that carbonation makes you feel more full.
Table 9 has the mac and cheese. Then Table 4 has the mac and cheese and so does table 11. It’s like everyone in this whole goddamn restaurant wants me to carry bowls of something I cannot eat. Fuck all of them.
I have learned my lesson. I will forever carry a Cliff bar in my apron from now on or I will force down the shift meal no matter how awful it looks. I cannot work when I am hungry because it makes me bitchy and no one needs to see me be bitchier than I normally am. Very often, I figuratively will bite the head off of a customer but the next time I am this hungry it might be literal. I will literally bite the head off of the woman at Table 6 and then chase it down with some seltzer.
I am starving.