BOTTOMS UP!

Scouting for managers between two five-and-a-half-foot cup racks by a dimly lit storage corridor, I gulped the last piece of a crab cake. I wiped my face with my apron and darted to the freight elevator. Scurrying through the kitchen staff and between waiters, I stuffed my pockets with rolled up silverware. I glanced at the food tickets for the next order up and dashed through the swinging doors. Guests at the bar make eye contact with me to serve them, but I point at the bartenders and kept it moving. Speed walking into the wine room to refill soda containers, I look over my mixology book, wiping my forehead with my stained and damp button shirt. Being a bar back sucks! Five years at this waterfront restaurant and still no break. I have greater chances sneaking up behind one after a shift, gagging him, cementing his feet, then throwing him into the river! Not one of these guys will offer up their reign at the throne.

Later, I learned that downsizing began at the company. In that same week, I bumped into a buddy of mine that knew a manager named “Jerry”. Jerry told him of a bartending opportunity at a brand-new baseball stadium, home of the N.Y. Mets. My buddy gave me the appointment details, and I was excited! This was it, my chance to become a bartender!  

Job opening day arrived! After two hours on public transportation, a tall man in a brown trench coat with a clipboard was directing people outside the stadium. Brown trench coat man asked for my name, slide his finger through the list and said, 

“Son, your name is not on the list. Are you a new hire?” 

I thought, well, I’m new. I am seeking to get hired, then replied, 

“Yes! I’m a new hire.” 

“So, stand on the line to the right,” he says.  

After we arrived at the processing room to receive employment confirmation. A lady with a list asked for my name and searched that list. 

“Which manager did you speak too?” she asked, 

“Through a manger by the name of Jerry,” I replied. 

“Jerry? Well, what’s his last name?”.

” I’m not sure”, I replied. 

Suddenly, another manager projected above the others, pointed at me and suspiciously said, 

“You didn’t fill out an application at all, did you? Like, an actual application, right?”

Everyone turned my way in dead silence. I looked straight into his eyes and calmly answered, 

“No, I did not fill out an actual application.” 

“That’s because you went online and applied, right?” stated the director of operations.

“Yes, Yes, that’s what I did! I went online and applied there.  

“Let’s go to the main office and check,” she replied. 

For ten minutes, nothing popped up, she again asked me, 

“What’s the new hire position that you’re applying for?”, 

I repeated, “Bartender”. 

A male presence intervened and added, 

“Bartender huh? Come over here. Let me make a call and give this a try”. 

I walked over to this tall, slender, boyish looking, gentleman who was sitting on the edge of a table. He kindly introduced himself as the head director of every bar in the stadium. He flipped his phone open and proceeded to dial. Upon connection, he asked to spell my first and last name, while repeating it to the person on the phone.

He paused then says, “uh huh…ok…yea…uh huh… ok, good”. 

He closed his cell phone looks over to me and says, 

“Well, you’re definitely not in our system”. 

My eyes squinted, I shook my head, threw a heavy sigh and said, “Wow. I came all the way from Jersey and”.

“Wait”, he interrupts

“Your name is now on the interviewing list for ‘new hire’ bartenders. I’m going to be conducting the interviews along with three other managers tomorrow at nine a.m. sharp. I apologize for any inconveniences, I’ll see you then”.

The following day, amongst the sea of new hires, a lady manager calls me over to have a seat. After seven minutes of naming drinks she says,

 “Ok great. lastly, I’m going to name a type of food and you’re going to tell me which red wine pairs best.”

“Beef.” 

“Cabernet.”

“Chicken.”

“Pinot Noir.”

“Cheese.”

“Riesling.”

 “That’s not a red.”

“And that’s a trick question. You need a high level of acidity to cut through the fat. The sugars in Rieslings also help counterbalance lactic tang. That’s the reason why dried fruits and jellies are served with cheese. The answer is Riesling.”

 She slowly smirks at me and says,

 “Go to that gentleman over there, for your final interview.

Before I knew it, they gave me my hourly pay with a start date included and a warm welcome to the brand-new ballpark, as a Bartender!

 

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Moonlight Rescue

His finger remained swollen and stiff from the branch wound. but he pays no mind to it inching it closer on the rifles trigger. The smell of the ground whipped around his nose and savored the cool air that danced between his shoulder, and the log he reclined. His heart thumped controlling his breath, awaiting the perfect opportunity to capture his long awaited meal. The deer, lifted its head from munching on the leaves. He inhales then exhales and between breaths in the fraction of a second where every cell in his body pauses, he squeezed the trigger and neutralized the deer.

After an hour of prepping and trekking hills for a quarter of a mile his tiresome walk takes its toll. Yet his sense of hearing remains alert, as crackling sounds of twigs broke nearby. Accepting no chances, his level of awareness heightned scanning the dense forest while clenching his rifle. Shadowsblend in-between the darkened spaces. Around the brushes, the tree trunks, the flourished ground and the thick leaves. It was becoming difficult trying to make out any sudden movement in the forest. The sunlight above the tree line dampers and the temperature falls.

His heart paces up a notch knowing nocturnal animals run best during these hours. Another set of crackling twigs stirred again but even closer. His breath becomes short, and now his heart is poundingagainst his chest. Sharp head turns over both shoulders makes sure coverage from different angles, as his knuckles whitened grasping the rifle. The eerie wilderness silence broke from a sudden burst out of the bushes. A roaring 500lb grizzly bear closing fast towards his right side.
He turns to face the raging bear to see it’s immense shoulder blades, and fearless eyes locked onto him. The bear made motions to pounce on the hunter, extending its right paw to lock onto the hunter and widening his jaw to deliver a ferocious bite. In a fraction of a second, the barrel of the hunter’s rifle aligned with the bear mouth. The hunter shoved the rifles barrel deep inside its throat, pulling the trigger. The fatal shot halts the charging bear. Causing the hungry omnivore to thrust its entire dead weight on top of the hunter.

His torso and legs are now trapped underneath this dense animal. He took a moment to regain his emotional strength from the frightening near death experience he encountered. With the rifle lodged into the bear’s mouth, he uses up his complete physical strength to break free, but with no luck. Another deadly circumstance emerged, being pinned under a dead bear. This skilled hunter can no longer conjure any strength to become free. As he now fights to stay conscious, his weakened state drains him. A clear range of vision darkens, becoming blurry while gradually losing his hearing. Sluggish arms dominate his mobilities and his head and eyelids grow very weak. A once firm and energetic body became lifeless, and he passes out.

Shortly, his eyelids lay very heavy; his sight is unclear, his body sways from side to side. The pale blue moonlight provided a glimpse for a surviving chance, so he continues to lift his eyelids for confirmation. Nevertheless, revealed to him in a silhouette is what almost looks like a mane of hair, and the felt of tender feathers that trickled across his chin with every brief sway he motioned. He cannot hold up anymore, his eyes roll back and falls into deep darkness again. It was not until he felt warmth and a golden flickering light emitting through his weakened eyelids. He gently opened them to bare sight of a well lite bonfire before him, with a steaming pot nearby.

He looked onto himself and saw what appeared to be bearskin neatly wrapped on his body. His regained strength allowed him to stretch his eyesight beyond the bonfire and it was then, that he became breathless to what he witnessed before him. The most beautiful Cherokee woman he ever saw outfitted in high-ranking attire just sat on her horse gazing upon him.Her eyes glistened from the fire, like emeralds reflecting beneath water from a radiant sun. Her skin was smooth as satin with a light and pleasant Earthy comp lection. Her beauty and strength was predominantly expressive through her confident posture by displaying control over her horse. She hinted a gentle smirk at him, and then rode off into the wooden darkness leaving no trace behind. Every ounce of the hunter’s strength summoned to call out for her, but not a single breath emerged.

Weeks later, the hunter was in his cabin preparing supper and his invited guess arrives. The hunter’s guest is his childhood companion. While his friend was getting comfortable, a painting above the fireplace struck his attention.

“Whoa! This is new. Dude! Who is that?

The hunter stops shortly of what he is doing on the kitchen counter, wipes his hands, walks over beside his memorized friend. And as they both stare at the painting, he points up to it and replies,

” That my friend, is my moonlight rescue”.

 

The End

Author and Ecommerce reseller