Under Fire: One of those nights


When I have time in the kitchen, I make notes of things to remember. I'll scribble in a little yellow book and then later try to decipher the language of the Sharpie. If I'd had time tonight to even reach for my notebook, that time would have been better used drinking water or trying to remember my name. Because it was so busy all I could write down was a single word...I think it may have begun with an "L."


Anyway, my chef runs a charity and they were having a meeting/party tonight. There were to be about a dozen people, and then a few ressies on the side. But with that party scheduled for the time that a rush would come if did, I kinda just got "the feeling." I was ready for insanity, and so felt prepared as we all-of-a-sudden filled up. 

Still, as the ticket board filled and I was working sauté on my own, I couldn't help but get a little anxious. And more. Beyond a "little anxious" was "straight-up nervous." And once we got really busy and the adrenaline kicked in, I reached "fuck-it mode," where I just grabbed my ankles every once in a while.
Very occasionally, I've reached a LeBron James-esque level of competition, when I realize that this is a personal challenge from God, and I have to accept. It's simply "business time." (Anyone who watches Flight of the Choncords knows what I mean.) Last night I flew into "business time" and stayed there for around two and a half hours, which may be close to a new record (we'll have to go to the judges). 

Here's the weirdest thing: For the first time, I felt I was the only person to go to this level. Broken plates, forgotten fries, salty scallops and miscued firings cued anyone who was paying attention to the fact that it wasn't a great night. The front and the back had issues, but it seemed like I was on my game for close to five hours. 

I could be sitting here now in my cushy foie gras and boob-filled beanbag of self-aggrandizing distinction, but once I settled down and settled in, I realized that no one gives a fuck about what I did. Because when the blame goes around, it still lands on me. Or, as my chef half-jokingly said as she left, "Hmm, I'll yell at you tomorrow. Or I won't. But I might."

At least I asked if I should come in early. *Sigh*

Now, what was that "L" word?


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