It was the first time in twenty-seven years that I've had to work
on the 4th of July. When one gets used to this privilege of being
off on Independence Day, the mere thought of arriving at his
place of employment on this date immediately conjures waves
of self-pity, a flood of sorrowful thoughts, a shower of mixed
emotions. I was so far removed from the water, the boat,
a barbecue, a beer....I might as well have been on the moon.
I spent the day with a bunch of people who, like me, thought
that this day would be a complete waste of everyone's time.
No way we were gonna be busy enough to justify being here
for twelve hours, cover the payroll, utilities, utilities, (I didn't
mention that lately it's been in the mid-nineties and humid,
and we have a big space with 10+ foot ceilings, making it
really difficult to maintain a temp of less than 80 degrees in the
dining room, mid-day). Our four deck, rotating pizza oven burns
at 550 all day long, and our ventilation hoods suck every square
inch of cool that our air conditioners can produce, out the roof,
every second of the day. A Sisyphusian dilemma, for sure.
But it wasn't that Goddamn bad. We had stragglers pretty much
all day long. Around 12:30, a lady came in and ordered 100 wings
and two large pies to go. I envisioned ten kids at a pool, and how
happy they'd be when Mrs. Smith showed up with the pizza and
wings. Don't forget to eat the celery! A lot more pizza to go,
steadily, for the rest of the day. 7:15 saw a 12-top of local senior
citizens (many retirement communities within 10 minutes, and a
good portion of them are not retiring poor).
I know that today, most of my friends were sailing, on the beach,
or at the pool, or in someone's backyard with a glass of Malbec
in their hand. I surely would've rather been there with them,
but after being on the dole for a year and a half, I'm happy to have
put in a 12 hour day to help the company.
When I got home tonight, the wiener dog greeted me like she
hadn't seen me in a month, and my beautiful wife gave me a big kiss.
Daddy's home. Where's the rum?