The Dishwasher

Somewhere between a gnawed-on chicken bone
and a residue-caked wooden plate,
you awake to the reality
that you’ve been peddling tits and ass
under the guise of breaded breasts and thighs
and you ask yourself,
“Why did I apply at Hooters?”

Could it have been that your
two best friends are the cooks and
you’ve been eating free here for years, so
why not add a paycheck to the equation?

But disillusionment comes
in a stack of dishes
and half eaten-wings. See,
you’ve been stuck in the back of the kitchen,
and your only companions
are the rats that tap dance between
the dumpsters when you take out the trash at night.

And you couldn’t have applied here for the food because
every dish you get back is practically full. See,
not even the paying customers pretend
they come here for that.
Plus you’ve been recently informed
of your option of
changing the oil in the fryer
once, or twice a week.
Note to self:
don’t eat here
anymore.

Now perhaps you applied here for some
sense of purpose or
dignity of work,
but when they hear where you work,
people smirk
and ask how the orange shorts fit.
And you reply,
“Look, I’m a grown-ass man.
I work in the kitchen.”

And you know you didn’t apply for the six fifty an hour.

More likely
it was these friends,
these cooks,
feeding you stories of
midnight orgies with
Tatiana and Kim.
It’s just a shame
you can’t get off
till
two in the morning,
and,
let’s face it,
nobody wants to screw the dishwasher.
And with no share of the tip-out,
and an empty restaurant to clean,
it becomes increasingly apparent
that the only person getting pimped here is you.

***

Jonathan P. Escoffery is a Miami based writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida International University where he has been awarded three Literary Awards. His writing has appeared in Rainy Day Literary Magazine, Foundling Review, Making Waves, The Cynic Online Magazine, and the Lip Service Stories quarterly series. 

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