Short Fiction // Creative Non-Fiction // Musings
Mise en Place
I work nights. Late nights that are filled with aromatics, digestion, and hyperbole. Temper and arrogance. Fuel and fire. Tonight, I’ll get home, drop my keys in the copper dish that sits on the side table in the entrance hallway, and pour a scotch on the rocks. I always use the glass my ex-wife bought me for our anniversary some years ago. It came as a set of two but it sits on my drinks cart with an empty spot left behind next to it. Fair call, I suppose. No night is different to the last one, and again, tomorrow. Another one. The faces are all mechanical. They smile at all the adoration of their senses I tease out with what my hands create. On occasion I smile back at them as they sit in my restaurant for the reserved. They are swathed with a learned appreciation for the fine white tablecloths and elegantly rolled linen napkins. The table setting speaks the volumes they want spoken on their behalf. Despite this, I need them here as they are. I know it tastes sublime. I know I am surrounded by people, but I know I work alone.