Leaving Mimi Dee’s was hard but I had to do it. I was smoking way too much weed, I had affairs with three women and got caught. I got too close to the edge having cheated myself out of a great relationship with a great chick. Carrie would never talk to me again and honestly I didn’t blame her. If I wasn’t stuck with me I’d never talk to me either, but it is what it is. Or was. I found myself in a new relationship with a new job so now and its time to man up and act like an adult. Me, an adult? Not sure that can work but I had to at least give it a go. I applied for and got a job as line cook at Moonleaves, a family restaurant in Syosset not far from Mimi Dees. I say line cook. At Moonleaves that had two meanings, one was the cooks line where my sauté station was. I had four entrée’s and two appetizers to prepare and plate during service. The other line cook was all the cooks doing lines. I never saw so much white powder in my life! It was as though the entire staff snorted a gram a day. Pot, pills, and cocaine flowed so freely it was more like a drug mart than a restaurant. Dishwashers, busboys, waits staff, cooks, just about everyone in the kitchen did drugs and the manager was a raging alcoholic too drunk to notice.
The amount of total degradation there was astounding, cooks banging waitresses in the storeroom, oral sex among the glass racks, even an area specifically reserved for gay sex. You could watch, partake, or just ignore, your choice. It was the Sodom an Gomorrah of the restaurant world and this was the mid 70‘s, the decade of decadence and drugs. Pot was smoked constantly out by the dumpsters, pills were exchanged openly, lines of coke were cut on sheet pans, and in the walk in refrigerators soup pots of screwdriver and gram jars of cocaine were at the ready. “Freeze Break” meant someone was running into the fridge to take a hit of blow an a swig of vodka and OJ. It’s a wonder we ever got a single meal out let alone get through service of a hundred and forty dinners a night. So much for a serious relationship, I fell into it like a pro, screwing every waitress I could and having my clock cleaned orally twice a week. Yea, line cook and head waitress were ironic terms at Moonleaves.
Even though I was engaging in so much extra curricular I also had begun to actually hone some cooking skills learning to make sauces a la minute and handling a constant litany of ordering and picking up of my food items. I was finally good at something and actually enjoyed doing it, a win-win. Pay for play. I had gotten so good at my station I helped out on the grill when it was overwhelmed, and the other line cooks when they needed a hand. The sous chef was ecstatic because it meant less work for him so he could go back to the glass racks where he would find non culinary satisfaction.
By early December I was beginning to fall apart from all the sex and drugs. I lived with my girlfriend Janet who enjoyed the weed and coke as much as I did. I always reserved some of both for home. It was becoming harder and harder, or sometime not hard at all, to perform sexually with Janet between my indiscretions and the coke both. The staff Christmas party was just around the corner and I could only imagine what a sick fucking party it would be. There wa sure to be tons of party enhancers and lots of parking lot sex. I resisted as best I could at Moonleaves when sex was offered but in the end I wasn’t the most faithful of lovers. No way I could bring Janet the party to meet the waitresses I have been with. I know Janet didn’t like me working there, and for good reason she was jealous. I was juggling it all really well, barely balancing sex at home and Moonleaves by never allowing the two to overlap. Repeated requests to meet my “friends at the restaurant” were deflected and redirected. Janet wasn’t stupid and even though I was a “strapping young stud” I could only handle so much. Besides, a girlfriend always knows, whether it’s the distant scent of perfume from a tryst hours ago or just the way we kiss. Putting passion into a kiss is like a fingerprint to a woman, and Janet was quite a woman. “JT, either you take me to the Christmas party to meet your friends or I’m going to eat there everyday.” Trapped like the rat fink I was.
I needed to figure out how to keep Janet from the restaurant. My two separate lives were on a collision course and the explosion would surely destroy both worlds. A plan was hatched. Let me just put a touch of perspective on this, I have hatched an enormous number of plans and from that maybe a handful have worked in my favor. This one had all the earmarks of being amongst the majority of failures. What logic I found in asking Janet to marry me as a way to get out of this would confound Einstein. But that was the plan, to buy a ring, ask Janet if she’ll marry me, an tell her we could get married sometime next year. I believed it would give me time to figure out a balance. Now I just had to figure out how to balance the news to Trudy, the waitress who sort of became my work girlfriend, the one waitress I had become exclusive with at Moonleaves. I know she is planning something huge for us at the Christmas party that involved a jello bath and some Quaaludes so I decided I could wait until after the party which now Janet won’t feel a need to go to. I’ll tell her its not a “party” party but more like we all just sit down to dinner together. Weak at best, but I was convinced of my own schmoozing abilities.
Janet was prepared for the usual argument surrounding Moonleaves and the staff party so it caught her totally off guard when I handed her a small box. Her eyes lit up like stadium floodlights, “What is this? JT……What’s in the box?” Girlish excitement was building as her face took on a kid at Christmas look. “Well…..why don’t you open it and see.” Her hands shook fumbling with the box as I positioned myself on my knee in front of her timing my request in perfect unison with the opening, “Janet, will you marry me?” She jumped up screaming, her hands flailing wildly, “Oh my God yes, yea of course JT, of course I’ll marry you.” We embraced while Janet allowed tears to flow freely, tears of happiness and even I got caught up in the frenzy. After kissing me a dozen times or so I became unimportant, “I’ve got to tell my Mom, and my sister, and…” She rattle off a number of her besties while the depth of what I had just done sunk in. Jesus shit, what have I done? Not sure I thought this one through.
Janet and I made love that night, with extreme emotion and reckless abandon. It was the wildest sex the two of us had in a very long time. Four times before we finally collapsed in exhaustion. The party had not come up in conversation once and now I’m not so sure I played this right. I will most likely need to opt out of the party all together to concentrate more on how to keep work and home separate on a more permanent basis. I would need to tell everyone at Moonleaves I was engaged which would change things drastically. I could still do the drugs, but the sex had to stop. Maybe it was for the better anyway.
The second I got to Moonleaves I was prepared to tell everyone of my wedding plans, but Trudy had other idea’s. Trudy was a hot an very sexy chick, not the kind of girl you bring home to Mama. With long straight jet back hair and the sexiest eyes alive! She wore a ton of make up which she didn’t really need because she was real pretty. But the make up made her look intensely sexy, like the woman that grabs you by your libido and forces you to surrender to her will. Thick black eyeliner, huge curled eyelashes, a deep blue swatch above each eye and the reddest lipstick around coating some naturally thick succulent lips. HOT! She put her hands up to my chest, looked deep into my soul with eyes smiling that sex smile that melts my loins. With a playful kittenish demeanor she pushed me toward the glass racks. I should resist, this shit has to stop. Too much drugs and I know Trudy thinks we are boyfriend and girlfriend even though she knows I live with Janet. I mean she lives with her boyfriend so its not like we would ever be together as a couple. That’s it, no more! She pushed my back against one of the racks and I grabbed her cheeks tilting her head up to mine to tell her we can‘t do this. Oh my God she looked so hot and vulnerable. Before I spoke a word her hand wandered down my stomach to my jeans as she undid my belt, then the zipper. Before I knew it I was rock hard on the racks moaning while Trudy gave me the most incredible head ever. When she finished me off she raised her head, kissed me with an open mouth an I hungrily swapped spit with her. “Mmmmm, that was good baby, see you after my shift?” I was no longer thinking no more, I was thinking lets do it again Trudy. “Of course baby, I’ll get a room after service.” I gotta quit this job!!!