I just want to say that it's been two weeks since they fired me from the crappy waitress job, and I really miss the guy that used to cook in the back.
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I'm not head-over-heels in love with this fellow or anything. He has a girlfriend and I respect that. She seems like a bit of a cooze... but whatever, I don't know her, maybe they do it for each other.
Anyway: if life were just one big road trip in my car, I'd pick him up and just keep on going. Hell, he could even bring his crappy girlfriend along.
If there was a way in this world, I'd add him to my Collection of Keepers.
I remember the first time I stepped into that god-forsaken place. The owner's wife took me in the back where the heat lamp and the salad station and everything is, and introduced me to the guys. And there he was, him and this other fella. They were peeping through the metal window thing and smiling broadly. And I saw him, looking all pale and gangly and goony and cute like Opie and James Dean and Kermit the Frog all in one and I thought: my GOD. That guy's smile could save the freakin' world!
OK well no I didn't think THAT but his smiling face was an instant snapshot image to be filed away forever in my silly old head.
And how many of these blessed smiles were bestowed upon me during my 5-month stint there... a thousand? A million? A trillion? I'll never know, but it was never one too many for me.
That gangly fuck was as brilliant and hilarious as he was annoying and rude and he saved my ass plenty at that pathetic excuse for a job. I don't know what he was doing slaving away at that hole, with his daily flashes of genius... perhaps wise enough to know that his vast intelligence would be wasted on the world? All I know is, for a scrawny Irish freak, he could cook Italian food like nobody's business. But that wasn't why I thought of him so dearly.
Every time the prick owner was on my case and getting the best of me, my Sauteein' Buddy would jump in, subtle yet effective, with a bit of sane advice. I'd be all in a state and freaking out and then I'd remember some wise thing he'd said and suddenly, a big inner sigh of relief, ahhhh... and all was well again in my topsy-turvy little universe.
The worst part is, I never got to REALLY thank that guy.
Sometimes you just want to show some gratitude toward somebody for making your day a little better. Especially if they're the opposite sex and they've got a shit-eating grin that makes you want to skip through the green hillside singing the theme from the Sound of Music.
Sometimes you just want to say, Hey: Thanks for all your impromptu stories and corny one-liners and your genius IQ and sick impersonations of everyone we knew and your wisdom and your retardedness and perversion and FOR BEING REAL, MAN.
THANKS, for giving ME a sample of YOU as YOUR Self to help ME feel more like MY Self.
And thanks for your smile that lights up the sky.
Ahh, hell. You can't say shit like this to people. Pity the walls we build for the sake of social normalcy.
So after slinking into work one last time to pick up my last check and bid my loving dysfunctional family of restaurant coworkers goodbye, I saw him for the last time. He was in the back as usual, trimming fat off pork chops. I briefed him on the petty details of my sudden termination as he just looked at me. He seemed way detached, and I felt that way too. Like, formal and stiff, was how I felt.
"It was nice working with you," were my lame last words. I shook his pork-infested hand, bid adieu to a few others, and out the door I went.
It was NICE, to work with YOU.
Goodbye, my sweet little smiley friend. I will miss you more than you know.