Once upon a time, I worked in a gallery. It was colorful, happy and sometimes covered in glitter. The work was good…except when it wasn’t. Sometimes I covered other shifts and gave food to the city’s elderly poor. I’d spend mornings in the kitchen, sweating behind a warming vat, slopping food on trays and plates. Then piling on outdoor gear to deliver meals in rain, sleet, snow and really hot sun. Yay. (Actually, there might be an !! because the job was 80% totes awesome.)
I had just left my house one morning for a glitter-filled day at the gallery. Two blocks into my commute I got the call to head uptown. Damn. Another 45 minutes added to my commute—sloppy subway sleeptime! Four stops in and I’m already head-bobbing. I look up from my half-snooze and see a disheveled, lanky man sitting across from me. /gasp! Could that really be Anthony Bourdain?! Heh. Of course not, but that doesn’t stop my imaginative, spiraling brain.
cue dream transition…
He looks up at me and comments on my paint-spattered shoes. I say “Aw come on. You’re an amazingly witty chef! You’d rather talk about food. I know it.” I tell him about the kitchen I’m going to— “Really bad food, but what an entertaining crowd! For serious! Someone will flirt with you, a few will smell and most will complain about the food. Dude. You should totally come check it out!” Hah! Fat chance! Except…an obliging smile spreads across his face. /swoon.
We step out of the train and I covertly text my brother-in-law who leads an alternate life as a personal chef. The text reads: “Come to my job. Now. U will luv me. 4 realz.”
Scene shifts to us in the kitchen. Just the three of us. No regular staff. It’s totally cool though. I’m standing in between Tony and Fred, smiling a goofy smile as I do my best to butcher an onion.
Have I lost you yet? Still there? Do you remember this is partial reality? I’m still on the train. In real life. It’s 8:50 AM and I’ve almost missed my transfer. I’m vaguely still here—trying my hardest not to give googly eyes to my Mystery-Man-Who-Is-Definitely-Not-Anthony-Bourdain. I bet he thinks I’m sick.