Chapter 5


still elated, with my dead phone in my purse i tried to calculate what wed made that night in specials alone. our specials averaged out at about 30 bucks each. give or take. i sold nine of one and it had to be about the same number of the other fish special. add in my 15 dollar foie gras ravioli app, say id sold seventeen of those….and dont forget bolo. our bolognese was available most nights but wasnt on the menu. it had originated as a special, but was in such high demand that if it wasnt available people actually got angry. so we had it in-house almost all the time, and if we ran out, well, hey, it was a special. 

wed sold the fuck out of bolo. by my bad math i figured we brot in about well over a thou in specials alone. take into account the crazy amount of entrees, the pizzas and booze. for a 40-seat bistro anything upwards of say 2500.00 was a fucking amazing Saturday. wed certainly done that and maybe times two. and yet id managed to get out in good time, clocking out at 12:30.

i dont know. i guess i was as elated about the rising sales as i was about finally feeling at home there. i was thinking, as i walked, how that somewhat aggravating period spent getting acclamated at any new job had come to a comfortable close for me. i was finally where i wanted to be, and just as summer hit, too. i wait all year every year for the short Cleveland summer, and here it was, the second week of June, and i truly belonged—in shorts, as much as i belonged in the new kitchen.

the sidewalk traffic got a little thick as i neared the intersection of Cedar and Lee. there was a congregation outside the pub smoking and laughing. plus a movie had just let out and the theater traffic littered the sidewalk in slow procession. i found myself merged into a sandwich made up of a bright cheery whitebread foursome, ten years my senior, chatterboxes, all. i widened my stride to get out of their mix. i made it to the crosswalk with no bread; just ahead of them.

unlike the sidewalk, the street had no traffic. i stood, waiting for the light to change. either way on Cedar, far as i looked there were no cars. the breeze refreshed me as i waited. my top was rather soaked, in an all-night cooking sweat. it was hot enough out to be considered treacherous, and yet the simplest breeze now felt like perfection. after an eternity the light changed and i started to cross.

mid-way through the crosswalk i was alerted when i saw a minivan about to turn into me!!! in the following one? two? three? one-sixteenth? second(s) plenty of shit took place. first i took in the grill of the car. bright, it shone metallic, the headlights primal eyes of a predator, unblemished. then the eyes of the driver: never had i peered so intently into any eyes before. call it telepathy, call it what you will but i bore my soul into that drivers eyes with my whole being. any driver could have stopped—could have put on the brake hard, and stopped short of me—who knows, maybe tapped me or not hit me at all, but as i bore my brown eyes into her light hazel ones, the driver ACCELERATED.

the minivan actually sped into me. 

my hip and leg took the impact. next thing, i was on top of the hood of the car. finally her brakework kicked in—the car stopped, i flew. a dull thud, i touched down, breaking the fall with the opposite side of the impact. i sat entirely stunned for who knows how many seconds. probably half of a second. a forty-secondth of a second.

the minivan also sat frozen in time, to the left of me. it spanned the left lane in a diagonal. i was only slightly animated in the middle of the other, the right lane of eastbound traffic. 

i looked at the minivan. the two women inside were African American, younger than me, id say 25 yrs old. they looked like they could be sisters. the one in the passenger seat wore a clear plastic shower cap.  both of them very pretty girls, peering at me.


No comments:

Post a Comment