Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta restaurant. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta restaurant. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 21 de junio de 2017


   The next plate came in a matter of minutes. In the hour she spent at that restaurant, she tasted more than 10 dishes and almost the same amount of beverages. She only got to taste a couple of desserts because time was running short and she had to make it to a previous appointment. She thanked the people at the restaurant and promised then the review would be out soon. Their faces hoped for a good one but Laura would have to take her notes and think twice before writing one way or the other.

 Just outside the place, she took a taxi and headed straight to her best friend’s house. His name was Samuel and he was celebrating his birthday at home, with a nice dinner and party with many people that he loved to hang out with. Whenever Laura and Sam were together, they were normally just the two of them. It would be one of the only times she would join him in a big party and she did it only because he had always being so good to her, including recommending her to the job she had at the moment.

 As Samuel worked as an software developer, he knew a lot of people in the world of journalism and such. He recommended Laura for a job at one of the biggest newspapers in town and she was very eager for the opportunity but he interview was a real nightmare. It was obvious they preferred to hire someone they knew and, for the looks of it, there were at least three other people the day of the interview that were very well acquainted with the editor that was handling the process.

 She waited a long time until she was called and then she felt he cold attitude of the editor. It was clear that woman didn’t want Laura there, so she just answered her questions the best way she could and, in only ten minutes, she was out of there. She felt so bad after the interview that she decided to buy a big tub of ice cream to eat at home watching cartoons or something. It was only a two weeks after the interview when Laura finally heard from the newspaper. She had been selected for the post.

 The day she went in to sign her contract, Laura asked why it had taken so long for them to call. After all, it was a writing job and those were assigned fairly fast in normal circumstances. The man that greeted her there told her, in confidence, that the editor than had ran the interviews had been fired because of several misconducts and potentially criminal behavior. Besides, the person she had selected was clearly not the best one for the post. Laura did not ask any further. She was very happy to get a job in she could finally do her two favorite things.

 When she got to Samuel’s house, Laura hoped she was early and could talk to him a little bit before more people arrived. However, she didn’t realize her time at the restaurant had been too long and that her taxi ride had been too slow because of the traffic jams that plagued the city at that time of night. When she entered the apartment, she saw several people all over, more than she had ever seen in such a small space. She moved around carefully, trying not to push anyone.

 Samuel had not been the one to open the door. Some girl that didn’t even say a word had done that and she had disappeared almost instantly. Laura moved around, looking for him friend. Eventually she got to the dining room table were all the food was in display. She grabbed a plastic plate and grabbed some of the things around the table. It was an assortment of food, not only sweets or savory stuff. There was a little bit of everything and she could bet Sam had not done any of them.

 Laura turned around to look for a place to eat what she had taken but there was no place to do so, so she stayed put and grabbed a piece of quiche from her plate and ate it whole, because of the size. Something funny was that Laura never really felt full when eating, so she could do it for a long time and she would only stop once she felt really full. That’s why her job was so ideal for her. Nevertheless, the piece of quiche she had in her mouth was not the kind of food she liked.

 In seconds, she grabbed four or five napkins and spit the whole piece of food into that. She placed the ball of napkins and chewed quiche on her plate and headed for the kitchen. She was sure she could find a garbage can there and maybe even a space to eat the rest of the stuff. Although, maybe, everything else was as dreadful as that tiny piece of quiche. She had never tasted something that tasted so bad before. It was difficult to describe, in the worst way possible.

 Once in the kitchen, she found the garbage can and a spot besides the burners. She couldn’t see her friend there but Laura knew she would eventually see him. It was a bit ridiculous to be in his house and not been able to talk to him at least for a while. The thought of her talking to Sam was interrupted by a cramp, one of those that make you squeal. It was very fortunate that the music was so loud. If it hadn’t been like that, people would have heard a dreadful scream coming from the kitchen. Laura grabbed her belly and looked for a glass or something similar to have some water.

 As she didn’t find any and had no problems with shame, she drank directly from the faucet. No one was watching anyways, they were all very concentrated on their conversations. Weary of all other food elements on her plate, Laura decided to smell them and taste only the tiniest pieces. There was one that looked like cake but it was very salty. She had grabbed some cookies but they were rock hard. And something looking like Chinese rice was undercooked.

 There were some other things in there but she decided to throw away everything. She chose the worst moment to do so because it was right then when Samuel entered the kitchen and saw her. He waved his hand but she clearly didn’t see him while drinking more water and then doing this face that made it clear how awful the food was. When she noticed Sam, her expression changed and she launched herself at him, hugging Samuel very hard, as they usually did.

 When they did, she realized she had not taken off her coat because she could still feel the gift she had brought to her friend. It was in a box on one of her pockets. Laura took the wrapped box out and gave it to her friend. Samuel didn’t look very happy. Nevertheless, he took her by the hand and travelled through the mass of people in order to get to his room, which was empty except for a big mountain of coats and similar clothing. Laura was surprised she could hear her own thoughts there.

 She apologized to Samuel for being late and waited for him to open his present but he didn’t. He looked at her with a very serious expression, a very judgmental expression to be precise. For a moment, she didn’t really understand what it was but then she realized he had seen her throwing out the food, so she explained that it was just dreadful. She detailed the flavors for him and advised him never to let his friends cater ever again. It was obvious they had no idea about cooking.

 Samuel threw the box she had given him to the bed and said that his guests had not cooked anything for him. If that had been the case, he would have wanted her to do something for the party, like the cake for example. Instead, he explained how he had cooked every single dish.

 He had wanted to make it a surprise for everyone but especially for her, as he wanted to be supportive of her recent job and just to connect with her in his own birthday. He sighed and left the room, leaving a very confused Laura, whose belly roared as soon as Samuel was gone.

sábado, 2 de julio de 2016

A good day

   Someone spoke, far away. It was a very deep voice, capable of piercing through walls and any other objects. It was kind of annoying because the rest of the world was at peace except for that voice that appeared not to be able to calm down. When Jay decided to get out of bed, the voice appeared to be stronger but still difficult to understand.

 Jay stood up in front of his mirror. Not much light entered his room through the small window there was on the wall, but he didn’t turn on the light either. He just stood there, looking at himself. He observed every inch of his body until he decided he recognized himself in that image. It was a very strange to do but he did it quite often, just to check he hadn’t lost his mind or something. It was his biggest fear.

 He put on the t-shirt he had wore the day before and some sandals. He looked at himself again on the mirror and went out the room. The hallway was empty so he knew he had a good chance to arrive at the bathroom and not find anyone there. He walked rather fast and, when he pushed the door, he was happy to see there was no one there.

 It was difficult to live in a place like that, where almost everything had to be shared. There was one bathroom per floor but sometimes something would go wrong on one of them and chaos would ensue as people from one floor would have to go to the one above to shower or to take a piss. It was very annoying and it happen frequently.

 But that day, everything was good and empty. After he was done, he decided to go back to his room and grab his shower things. It was best to take advantage of the unusual situation and do what he had to do in the bathroom at once. He almost ran to his room, where he grabbed his towel, soap, his shampoo bottle and toothbrush with toothpaste. He ran back out and was surprised, again, not to see anyone around.

 It really was a strange day. He showered for a good ten minutes, washing his hair, getting all his body clean and brushing his teeth with ease afterwards. When he got out of the bathroom, there was someone waiting by the door. His name was Carl, or something like that. It was one of the junkies that lived on the room opposite to his. He just said “Hi” and moved on to his room.

 Trying not to turn around and see what Carl was up to, jay knew it was best not to interact with them too much. They were really strange people and they were always high on whatever drugs they could find. Sometimes it was scary, when they got really annoying, but Carl was apparently on a down mood that day. It was best for everyone that he was.

 Once in his room, Jay noticed a bit more sunlight was entering his room and he realized he was smiling. He didn’t do that often but his day seemed to be having such a good start, it was hard not be optimistic. He put on his regular clothes for a Friday and grabbed his wallet and keys before leaving the room once again. As he put the lock on the door, he gazed towards the bathroom and noticed there was a line made up six people and it seemed to be growing slowly. He really had been lucky.

 Outside, on the street, the sun was even brighter so there was no need for a jacket or anything like that. Spring had moved on to that stage when its more like summer than like winter, which was perfect because Jay only had one jacket and it was too old now to keep using it. He needed money to buy a new one before the next winter, in order not to die frozen on the street or on his bed.

 In the winter, he usually slept clothed as the building had no central heating and his room could feel like a freezer sometimes. But now, he didn’t have to think of that. Next winter was months away and his day was doing to good to be thinking of the bad things in life. He walked block after block, ten in total, until he got to the bus stop that was closest to is home. He hoped not to be late for it because sometimes he would arrive just as the bus was leaving and it could be another fifteen minutes until the next one came into the neighbourhood.

 He stood by the stop and realized there was only one other person waiting: an old woman who seemed to be sleeping. Maybe she had already been sleeping for too long. Jay looked at his wrist, to an old watch he had found on the street, and realized it was a bit earlier than normal. That may have been the reason for his luck so far. Or maybe it was just a coincidence. In any way, the bus would be approaching in any minute.

 As if he had summoned it, the bus appeared on the street and stopped right in front of Jay. He walked towards the entrance and realized the old woman wasn’t moving. He asked the driver to wait for a moment and decided to try and wake up the woman. At first, he thought she might have been dead because she was unresponsive but she finally woke up and stood up slowly to walk to the bus.

 Strangely enough, the driver had waited and he smiled at Jay for his actions. That was something strange but even stranger was the fact that, after paying his ticket, the old woman asked Jay to seat by her side in the back of the bus. He accepted the offer and sat up there, where the seats were a bit higher than the rest. He rarely sat on the bus, always standing up.

 The old lady thanked him for his help and told him she was going to visit her daughter in the hospital. Apparently, she had some problems with her lungs and was going to undergo a complicated surgery so the old lady wanted to be on his daughter’s side through all of it. Jay nodded as she told him every detail of her life, about her husband who had died five years earlier and about her grandchildren that rarely came to visit her. She seemed like a nice person. A person that rarely has anyone to talk to.

 Some minutes later, she asked Jay to help her to the bus exit. He did so and she surprised him with money, a proper bill that was maybe too much to accept. She noticed Jay’s doubt to grab the bill and just put it in his hands. She said she was grateful for all the good people in the world and then pressed the button to let the driver know she was walking out. She did so rather fast, faster than he thought she could move.

 Still confused, he got out of the bus himself ten minutes afterwards. He had put the bill in his wallet but was still thinking about it. It wasn’t a common thing that random people would come up to you on the street to give you money. To be honest, his problems with money were always about not having enough, not the opposite. So he was very confused about what had just happened. As he arrived to work, he quickly forgot about it as the good day he was having may come to an end right there.

 He worked in the kitchen of a fast food restaurant, one of those big chains that makes burgers and nuggets and fries. At first, he loved the smell of it all, even of the ice cream as it got out of the machine. But now, after almost a year of working there, he had become rather oblivious to all of it. He flipped burger some days, some other he had to put salt on the fries or lift boxes with every single product they used in the restaurant.

 His shift began early in the morning and ended around eight o’clock at night. Sometimes he would stay more time because his supervisor would need something but, again, that day was a bit different. He was going to clean the floors but instead his supervisor wanted to have a word with him, He thought that, for sure, that was the end of his very good day.

 His supervisor, a very young man with lots of pimples, had decided to put him on the register. It was a promotion. He would win more money, as he had to learn some new things. He had to start right away so he had to learn fast. All day long, he did great, learning all the codes rather fast from another cashier. He smiled to every client and one of them even told him to keep the change, which was a very big tip. That day was really strange and he was really liking it.

 At night, back home, he counted the money he had made and was happy to know he was a bit closer to what his goal was, which wasn’t really clear. He thanked life for such an amazing day and hope all others would be the same.

domingo, 27 de marzo de 2016


   As Michael arrives, he asks the waiter where he could find the person he’s looking for. Apparently he is on the second floor, in the terrace area. Michael is escorted there by a staff member who points at a man smoking by the railing of the terrace. There are many people around and that is something Michael had not expected but, after all, it is a very popular town amongst tourists and every single day the streets get crowded with them.

 He walks up to the man, who’s younger than he expected and asks: “Is this seat taken?”

 The young man doesn’t turn to him, still taking a look a look at the people on the square below and smoking.

-       Starting with a stupid question doesn’t make much sense.

 Michael sits down. The waiter comes and takes their order: Michael asks for a whisky, straight, and the young man asks for a “screwdriver”. They don’t say a word until the drinks come to the table. In the meantime, they both watch the people and the pigeons come and go into square. The movements are almost hypnotic. When the drinks arrive, the young man throws his cigarette over the railing and takes a sip of his glass.

-       That’s unsafe. – says Michael.
-       I think people have better things to worry about, including you. – answers the young man. - Including whatever it is we are going to talk about now.

 Michael looks straight at him, with disgust.

-       That’s a nice mouthful of crap for a terrorist.

The young man laughs. He also looks at Michael straight in the eye. It’s the look of a mad man.

-       You kill people for sport.
-      Oh, please! You do that too. Besides, it’s not sport. I’m the same as you; I have a salary and everything. The fact that I enjoy it is the only difference.

Michael doesn’t say anything.

-       Oh, so you enjoy it too?
-       What are you talking about?
The young man stops directing his body towards the railing and decides to face directly at Michael and even comes a bit over the table.

-       What do you want?
-       It was you who contacted me.
-       True. But it’s you who wants something. What is it?
-       The truth.

Michael is very serious but the young man slowly pulls back, grinning.

-       There are many truths.
-       You put a bomb on that man’s house. You killed his family.
-       And?

Total silence. Michael’s heartbeat is fast.

-       His children…
-       Yes, they died. And no, I didn’t plan for that to happen, collateral damage.
-       That’s it? - Michael slams the table with his fist. – That’s all who have to say?

 The young man takes his glass and takes a big sip of his drink. He looks around and slowly answers.

-       That’s all I will say, yes. And I bet you don’t have much to say about those drone attacks you commanded while in the army.

Michael’s facial expression changes.

-       What? You didn’t expect me to know that? Please, any decent spy would have dug that out.

Now, it is Michael who pulls back to his seat. He’s reminded of a time he thought everyone had forgotten, that people in his job at the CIA told that was behind him. Apparently a sealed file doesn’t stay sealed forever.

-       Yeah, so that’s done. – says the young man. – So, what are you here, in town? Big party coming?
-       Shut up.
-      Come on, dish. What is it? A cartel, or slaves or what. What is piercing on your brain now?
-       How is it that you are a spy? If you really are, how did you get to be one?

 Again, the young man smiles. He drink some more of the drink and turns his head towards the square.

-       I suspect we have been doing this for the same time, you know. – he smokes as he talks, pausing from time to time. – The thing is you were chosen to be a spy because you were a good soldier. I, obviously, wasn’t that.
-       Obviously.

They both smile.

-       A woman that knew a lot about all of this stuff picked me from an early age. She chose me because, in her words, because “I wasn’t noticeable”. Apparently, I didn’t stand out in a crow.
-       So you stole since you were a boy?
-       Yeah. You didn’t?

 A flock of pigeons passes over them. They both looked at the birds, with so much happening in their minds.

-       So that’s how I started. I have a face that doesn’t stick. I can be in a crowd and you wouldn’t look at me twice.
-       I would.
-       Sweet but I meant normal people. Besides you know who I am now so, it’s pretty obvious you are going to look for me every single day of the rest of your life.
-       You think you’re that important?
-       No, but you do.

 Some children yell and run on the square, scaring more pigeons. People take pictures and talk, a lot.

-       They say you don’t only kill your targets.
-       Who is “they”?
-       You fuck them too.

 The young man laughs so hard that he snorts a bit.

-       Only the men.
-       And the women?
-       I don’t kill women. I thought you would know that.
-       Why?
-       Because.
 He looks at his watch. Michael notices this.

-       Somewhere to be?
-       Nope. I’m just where I need to be. You?
-       Same.
-       Awesome. Why did you become a spy? Childhood dreams?

 Michael moves in his seat. He has never liked to talk about the subject, it makes him uneasy because it is private and he doesn’t handle private very well.

-       Sorry, too personal?
-       No.
-       I don’t care, Mike.
-       Don’t call me Mike.
-       Fuck you Mike.

There’s a silence between them. They drink the last of their drinks and the young man turns his body against towards Michael. He looks at every single feature of his face. He smiles.

-       You’re handsome, beneath that shell.

Michael exhales, annoyed.

-       You are. And I guess there’s a nice little brain inside of there. You knew I was here and no one knew that.
-       No one?
-       Nope. You are the only one that knows and that makes for a nice little relationship, don’t you think?

 He leans over the table and grabs Michael hand. He pulls back but the young man is much stronger than anticipated. The young man caresses his hand and finally says:

-       I came here to do my job, Mike. And that’s what’s I’m doing. No psychological shit today, ok?
-       What?

He leans over even more and says, in a whisper, “enjoy the ride”.

 Then, an explosion occurs in the square below. Every person in the balcony looks below but Michael cannot. The young man grabbed his arm, making him unable to move, and then punched him hard in the stomach. Then threw him on the ground and ran. Michael chases him downstairs, barely breathing. He sees his jeans running down the street and turning left but then, a second explosion happens just a few meters away. Michael is thrown to the floor again and remains there for a while.

 Later, in the hospital, he receives a big bouquet of roses that only have one white card with one symbol on it: the imprint of his lips in blue lipstick.