Memoirs of a Hippie Chef (an excerpt)

If You Can’t Stand The Heat
It wasn’t as if I wasn’t used to the fecal matter hitting the rotary oscillator, but Cavalieri’s closing was a lot to deal with and the furthest thing from my mind. No longer was I an apostle to a culinary madman, no more waitresses to flirt with, no more free beers. I was now saturated with disappointment and disillusionment. I knew I needed to seek another avenue of employment. I needed to shed the dry snakeskin of the restaurant industry and turn out to something else. I needed to get far away from any kitchen or Chef or waitress. I need a sacrificial rack of lamb. I should do what James did back in his time and work the fields. As fate would have it and timing being everything my brother’s ex boss owned a landscaping company, and needed a laborer. So it came to pass that I had became the new landscaper for Mundies Field and Dreams. More accurately put, I had become the new lawn mowing leaf raking topsoil carrying shit spreader. I had chosen to become a hard working laborer and have my skin scorched everyday by burning threats the sun makes good on, while enjoying the hearty aroma of freshly decayed organic manure. Enough abut the perks though; let me tell you about the downside. Everyday ended the same, my arm and back muscles pound out a rebellious beat building to a painful crescendo. As I reach to cool my aches and pains with a cold beer it seem as though all my muscles tightened up into ball of overworked subdermal tissues and tendons screaming at every movement. My skin radiates a pinkish aura from hours spent unprotected by those relentless threats of the harsh sun. It left my neck and shoulders feeling rug burnt adding to my misery. As if that weren’t enough, the omnipresent stench of decaying crap had implanted its neverending stink carousel deep into my nasal cavity. Out on the field, one of my less enviable jobs was to take compost, Mundies name for decayed animal shit, and spread it across a field. First the smell of evaporating morning dew so earthy and rich comes up off the ground like a wisp of warm steam in a tease just waiting for its replacement. Breathe deep and enjoy nature while it lasts because within seconds comes the dank aroma of compost. Its a blend of some of the most offensive smells I could ever imagined. Once dumped on the ground, the aromas of a horse stable had a meeting with a quarantined bathroom, and then joined forces with spoiled milk to create a cacophony of disgust that slowly crept up my nose and made an all out assault on my entire being.. There it would stay for hours even after my day was done. A rank reminder of my newly acquired hopelessness that was eased, but not eradicated by the beer.
Partying had come to a new intersection as well. Turn right and head up the morphine highway that was one step away from the dreaded H. Heroin, horse, dope. A dangerous path to be sure but as long as we kept just to the pills it seemed okay. To the left was an array of uppers and downers that had become much too routine for us. From the ritual of lighting up to the ritual of popping pills. Ken was in big demand and was spending way way too much time with Artie. As for me, I was required to wake up early 6 mornings a week. But I had every night free to do whatever I chose. I had begun spending more and more money on drugs, supplying not only my head but Carries as well. And many evenings I took care of Sue as well because Ken was always out copping drugs. I had begun doing diet pills every morning to keep me awake and give me the energy to bust my ass out in the shit fields. On days that it rained I would be sent home and not make any money for the day. I quickly went through my savings after a week of solid rain. The summer was coming to an end, I was making less money, and soon it would be too cold to do landscaping. I couldn’t remember how the fuck I got here, but what I did know wad that I needed to get the fuck out soon.

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