NIGHTMARES

21 May

I always have waiter nightmares after a hard shift. Usually it involves having an influx of people in the restaurant and being ill equipped to serve them. The patrons in the dreams are usually some sort of “difficult” type: a bus load of obese Midwesterners who have come for BBQ-ribs; a Medieval banquet hall full of fabulously bejeweled black ladies requesting all types of unknown hot sauces; Spaniards. 

Once I dreamt there was a whole football field full of white linen tables, awaiting a mass service. Every ten yard line was an individual sever “section” with Micros point-of-sale terminals at the ends of each ten yard line. The servers would spint up an down the ten yard lines, taking orders and entering them into the terminals. It was endless. There was a lone Asian man in the corner of the field, waving at me. I decided that he was just going to have to wait, maybe forever if necessary.

When I used to work at a fancy french place in midtown, I had a specific reoccurring dream that involved retrieving wine. It was always stressful retrieving wine in that restaurant because the wine cellar was so far away from the main floor, several floors underground in a dark, unorganized den of bottles, all piled on top of each other. I would always dream that a guest had ordered a glass of wine, and I would go downstairs to get the wine, but the stairs wouldn’t end. The stairs just kept going. And I would keep walking until it was doubtful whether I would have the strength to climb back up to the top where I entered. I kept telling myself I was getting closer to the wine cellar, but it never appeared. And all I could imagine was the guest upstairs, waiting for his wine, and yelling about being late for the curtain at Mama Mia!

My most recent dream last night involved George Bush Senior. For some reason, George Bush was part of a team of waiters who were all being shipped in trains to a sort of waiter concentration camp (I don’t mean to make light of the Holocaust, it’s just that, my imagination very clearly was invoking images from WWII movies). It was all very attractive waiters, and George Bush, leading us barefoot waiters, through the snow, and mud. We all were sprinting with trays full of cocktails and glassware to some unknown Master guest, who was situated on top of a mountain. Go figure. 

Inevitably all the dreams have a sense of frantic, helpless urgency. And also a comic sense of epic failure. 

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