Last Open Table: Trade Secret Talk

Hey Aimme, I only have table 18 open…: I say, hostessing.

Oh, the four top, newly remodeled to a three?: she says, jokingly but without a smile.

~

{trans: yeah, that guy that joined table 19, without a word, stole the fourth chair from table 18 and has blocked access to table 18.

/Some men appear to need to take up an unnecessary amount of space. The cunt in me thinks they are the same men who feel compelled to drive large trucks with flat beds they will never use/

Additionally, the small dining room of this restaurant is filled with only tables for two and tables for four. This makes table 18 a hot commodity to a hostess. Especially, a patient, thoughtful one working Sunday morning.

But, push has come to shove. I won’t run a waitlist for him, this joiner, unless my server says she thinks they deserve it.}

/some posers know how to tip/

~

[She should have been cut an hour ago.

We should have dropped to two servers already; but the gal closing told her: yeah, we could cut you if I wanted to work harder.

I overheard this. It disappointed; but, there may be reasons such a statement is more reasonable than it may sound to my ears.]

Am I cleared by you to do my thing with this guy: I ask?

She nods immediately. It is louder than words to my ears.

I wonder if she noticed I kept seating her out of rotation, when a table in her section became available. I made sure she did not lose a table because of the joiner.

I don’t mention this.

A table for three arrives.

One moment: I say, wearing a smile, for them alone, that says “I’m gonna let you in on a trade secret.”

I take two steps over to table 19 and begin with

a big, genuine (“here goes no-thing”) smile

{In a way it is my job to do so. /You see, hosti are notoriously flighty. /otherwise they’d be servers, right?/ giggle}

I say: hey there!

[I do panto, panto, panto, then a little soft shoe.]

{Sic. Hosti trade secret}

The entire family at table 19 laughs.

Me and the five year old are now waltzing in a tiny square.

The people standing, waiting, start laughing,

for a different reason.

We should get out of your hair: says the dad at table 19.

{This family had finished eating over an hour ago. We call such folk [campers].}

Well, I do need to get access to that table over there, to seat these fine folk: I say, motioning to actual humans waiting.

Table 19 kindly slide themselves aside while making small talk with the family I am about to seat at table 18.

I am now waiting on the waiting list.

The best kind of professional inconvenience, to me.

Table 19 leaves.

Table 18 is seated.

Thank you: says Aimme.

I am immediately and acutely overwhelmed by deja-vu.

I grab Aimme by the arm and say: I just got the most intense deja-vu I’ve felt in years.

Because, I experience the feeling not infrequently.

Because, Aimme is empathic, too.

Because, it feels so strong it calls into question scales of magnitude.

She stops.

You must be in the right place: she says before springing back into action.

I dig the gravity of her spontaneous response.

Over her shoulder, she calls out: thank you for making sure I got as many tables as the others.

Physicsical Moaning

I smile: I am pleased you like the work, but not particularly interested in why.

You liked how it felt.

Instead, tell me about the last dream you had while sleeping?

Did you like how it made you feel?

I dreamt a record store called All ‘N Analog. It was no analogue.

And,

What if it turned out that Paul Revere was just a Boy who cried Wolf?

Let’s incorporate.

A stem [becomes]

steAm.
Repetition of action is

not repeating oneself;

though, care must be taken, of course, so you

don’t repeat yourself;

but, sometimes I love it when

you repeat yourself

(or ask me questions, the answers to which you believe you already know.)

Self-awareness of ignorance can nearly

overcome it.
Just don’t over-commit.

You will, still, scratch that itching nose with a finger, whether you are aware you do so,

or not.

You skate on a bead of water produced from the ice you melted as the blade of your skate skirted over it.

You have not cut the ice.

Boiling point is dependent upon the local atmospheric pressure, sweet thing.

Are you at an elevation of simple sea level?

The triple point of water.

A bathtub producing water, ice, and steAm from its faucet head.

All states

existing simultaneously; and, at the same time,

the ultraviolet exposure at my atmospheric level, fries, while I watched the sun rise

from my spectacular, secularly sacred space.

Flying in Formation

The dissonance of a consciousness can be caused by a lack of cultural consonance.

A flock of birds makes daily, coordinated flight shows,

training the little birds,

the ones I watched learn to fly over the last week.

The seven others will make tight, sharp barrell rolls,

reversing their momentum and direction.

The three babes miss the sign

and lose their flock.

I see the panic in the way their wings change their flapping.

Pyre-amid Dream

I dreamt I was not quite a teenager.

I fed ducks in a park on a bench, with a Holocaust survivor. He was a mean man, and we got along well.

We did two things:

1. Feed ducks bread crumbs

2. Play a game.

Starting with A, we would name diseases/ailments in alphabetical order all the way to Z(ed).

Alzheimer’s

Bunyons.

Canker sores.

But, repeating was unacceptable.

Ex. Next round:

Acne

Boss eyes

Cataracts.

He always won. I did not care.

He taught me what floaters were but could not tell me why sometimes I saw white ones, like the sprinkles of 4th of July sparklers, and sometimes I saw indigo ones.

He only saw the white ones.

But, before that,

in the same dream,

I dreamt that

the crest of your wave foams white in its churning.

My c-heeks go red.

Eyebrows arch up high as your brow furrows.

You slide softly and I run nails over your rib cage.

I kiss your nape.

But, before that,

in the same dream,

I dreamt that

I went on a walk.

My arm swung by my side like the pendulum of a grandfather clock.

Wafting leaf smoke like incense in some ceremony.

I heard two staccato strikes against strings of an amplified guitar,

in time with my heels’ clicks.

Labouring in Unkind Kindness.

A day I play like Cool Hand Luke.

If you labo(u)r, you probably do not have Labor Day off.

You are probably extra busy with your labor, in fact,

because of all those non-physical labourers who do have the day off.

No judgement, just observation derived from experience as someone who has been on both sides.

This is pure assumption: I can tell if you have ever worked on your feet, by how you interact with me when I am running a waiting list for the restaurant.

Open secret x: I am the hostess. I want you happy.

Open secret x’: you will not piss me off nor will I say anything unkind.

You know why?

Because, nothing pisses cranky people off more than someone who will not take your anger bait.

Killing you with kindness quite literally, you silly folks.

This is where the Tao of Cool Hand Luke comes into play.

You trying to put me down on the ground?

I just keeping getting back up with a giggle and a smile.

I have been through far worse.

I can do it until you are uncomfortable.

Every now and then, I can even make you smile.

Score.

I appear daft. Too stupid to realize I am being insulted.

I appear sugary sweet, but I speak in a calm, deep, resonant voice.

Just so you get a grip on the power of my gravity.

Unkindly kind.

The benefits of walking the block

I decide I need a tab, as they say.

American Spirit: ingredients: water and tobacco.

And some kind of paper, right?: I wonder.

The point is moot as I have already inhaled the combustion of fire to leaf.

Why are you smoking when all you really want is to be walking, Little Wing?: the No-One man asks me.

Because I need to clear my mind and grease the wheel. So, I can count to ten.
Prove it: he says.

One is zero and unity. All and everything. I learned this lesson in the woods, whilst listening too hard and asking too many questions.

Two is a perfect number. Mathematically speaking.

Three is a trinity manifested in a pyramide.

Four is a group that trains themselves in martial arts, as advertised.

Five refers to commercial success. Why?

Six makes me recall you, beast. And what it is to rotate this figure about the x-axis.

Seven reminds me of a trinity of 7’s, of Parzival.

Eight is hate not so far past.

Nine is three, six, and itself. This was the universe to Tesla.

And, ten? Ten is an order of magnitude. Ten makes sense for orientation.

Ten let’s me catch my breath: I concede to him.

I near the entrato the condo and a Vietnamese couple pulls aside me in their SUV.

How do we get to the coast?: the driver asks me through his cracked, automatic window.

Take a right at the stop sign, then, at the fountain on Main Street, take a right.

It is a roundabout.

Thank you. How lucky you are to live here: they say, after we struggle through language barriers and we repeat the same sentences between ourselves six times in total.

Yes, I am lucky to stay here: I reply.

I wave as they speed to the stop sign.

I told you that I needed to walk the block: I tell the No-One man.

He rolls his eyes.

A Watery Whale Wail

Have you ever stared, for a long time, at a large body of water?

More than an hour, or

until you can’t remember if the water is actually the sky and perhaps it is you that has been submerged in water the whole time?

Like maybe the horizon is a surfacing point where you and I breathe like whales?

Spouting our exhalations and thrilling the star ships above our surfaces.

It feels like when you sit in a room alone and repeat your own name aloud, for a minimum of three minutes.

Incepting yourself as you dialate time through your subjectI’ve experience.

Like purposefully esoteric, alternative spellings.