The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part One: The Baker 7
He kept after York with more vigor and enthusiasm after he started seeing through his many masks. York noticed his change of spirit and appreciated it. He shared his opinion that there were a lot of people on duty and most of them seemed to not be doing anything. Later he gathered that if people paid a few thousand per night all their caprices must me tended to. He couldn’t help but think what a waste of people’s time and resources is the hospitality industry.
The biggest waste came from the kitchen. In order to keep the establishment exclusive and prices sky high, food needed to be out-of-this-world fresh. The restaurant received a daily supply of locally farmed and sourced vegetables and protein. They had to be prepared for the worst. At the end of day the kitchen threw massive amounts of food in the garbage. That fact alone evoked an artistic disgust in him for the world of restaurants.
He didn’t have much time for thought because York wanted to finalize their encounter in a single day. Shine or burn to rubble. Either outcome would be obvious very soon. Rubble is what Anton smelled, trouble! He couldn’t hold his frustration in well enough after eleven hours on his feet in brand new shoes listening to the “York Radio Station.”
In the same monotonous way, they carried on down to the basement for the final department to dissect. He insisted to show Anton every corner of the kitchen, all the gas switches, circuit breakers, walk-in refrigerators, ice cream flavors and dish pits. He was being extreme at times, or even comical. Anton’s head was beginning to boil up a plot for revolt, he felt like he was walking in a circle for years. His heart was skipping beats. Fatigue was taking over and rational though eluded him. Especially when York introduced one of the cooks labeling him ‘the greatest pizza and bread artist’. At that moment Anton initiated ‘mission revolt’ by laughing out load. He regretted it later, but then and there the chemical reaction from a day of forced labor inside enemy lines was irreversible. He was intoxicated by the idea of someone actually taking joy in working in a fake place like this. Further more, most people there hated it but were too scared to do anything about it because they already made an accidental baby and now had to pay for it and make it the center of their lives. Take responsibility.
He didn’t have any responsibilities so he felt lightheaded, drunk on freedom to choose what to do with his life, even if it is nothing worth a noble prize.
He sobered up in an instant as they walked by the dish-washing area. An elderly gentleman, for whom he later grew to have great respect, dropped a pan with sticky liquid by accident which produced a heavy stain on his Savile Row suit. He didn’t think twice about it when it happened and went off like a bomb that just clicked its last second on the clock. He screamed and condescended the man greatly. He didn’t seem to be stirred by Anton’s foul language and went on with his work. He glanced a few times looking down at York. Anton was taken aback by his firmness and iron nerves. Subconscious respect crept in for this invisible-to-the-world man, when he heard his story his respect grew a thousand fold.
As it happened that was the last and most memorable event of his great adventure in a hotel. By the narrow back stairs they reached their final destination, the lobby.
York pulled him by the arm in the middle of the marble floor and locked his death eyes on him.
‘Do you have children?’ He asked, cold and unemotional.
‘No, I don’t.’ Anton managed grinning to imply that he didn’t know what he is getting at.
‘Do you have grandchildren?’ York drilled deeper into his brain.
‘Grandchildren! No, I don’t.’ He took a step back thinking that he was out of depth. Well technically if his children had children and died. He discontinued that train of thought. Anton stared questioningly at York while he stared back menacing. He was just about to utter a inquiring remark when York spoke.
‘Carlos, the gentleman that you so ignorantly condescended a few minutes ago…’ He started. ‘… has seven children and nineteen grandchildren. He works a hundred hours a week and distributes everything he makes fairly among them, so they can have better lives. He doesn’t drink, smoke or socialize. He has dedicated his life to his heirs and doesn’t allow himself the simplest pleasure. Now you, on the contrary, are born in all favors and never knew what it is to work for a wage. If I ever hear that you had spoken in such a condescending manner to a human being without knowing anything about him, you will never be able to get a job in a hotel in this country!’ He left, walked away. The clink of his sharp shoes on the marble was the fading dot, dot, dot…
Anton was shaken and touched fundamentally. He knew York was right. Everything around him was a blur of white and blue marble. He felt like he just finished his first day at school and got expelled.
The blood rushed into his head and with it, all the moral experiences and frivolous tales streamed in. Life became as clear as a soft cool pillow on a summer night. He couldn’t run any more, walking was more suitable. He felt like everything changed color. The white and blue marble had become vivid white clouds on the spring blue sky.
It was time for… It was time for… It was, is, will be. He wasn’t sure if he was too young or too old too to say ‘it was time for a change’. He needed a better religion. Evocative!?
On the way home he didn’t want to drink and eat fat. He wanted to empty his house from those vices, and buy tea, fruits and vegetables. By the time he reached the garden all these childish vibrations were over and he fetched a bottle of wine for his conversation with the Pipe.
next chapter: THE BAKER 8
previous chapter: THE BAKER 6
all chapters: The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer
more by PETER ODEON
photograph from unsplash.com