One my very favorite things to do after hanging out, drinking, gossiping and observing the sunset at Tea Dance, is to hop on my bike and escape the crowd. I head west to the Circular, where the Breakwater meets the mainland and the final mile or so of the Cape’s hook wraps around like a curlie-cue tail. This is supposedly where the Pilgrims first set foot in their Promisedland and I think it is one of the most lovely places on the Cape. One can see the “backside” of the sunset: the eastward light reflecting on the water and the western side of clouds and boats in the harbor. Then, a quick glance over the shoulder yeilds the real sunset, to the west, over real land. It all takes place within 2-300 yards, this spectacular interchange of light, water, magic and peace.
Last night certainly reinforced my love of this spot.
The Fourth of July week ended a couple of weeks ago. The Fourth, the height of summer. The thick of it. Full tilt. The Season!
It’s all wonderful and heady and fun but I heard things from people, both from regular customers at work and from people around town, that made me do a double take.
“How’s your summer been?”
“We’re leaving for the summer.”
“It’s been a great season.”
And the knife in my rose-tinted calendar, “See ya next year.”
Really? Really? Surely it can’t be. And there I was, standing in front of Devon’s Sunday morning, watching my new customer/friend/neighbor pack his car, gather his neices and head back to New York. Waves of very mild panic passed over me.
And like the tides that come and go, it is with many people. They come for a week, two, even a month, then the inevitable happens and they pack up the car and drive up Cape or clutch the rolling suitcase and head down Commercial to the pier.
I let the panic pass with only the reassurance of the calendar which tells me I have a good two months of summer left. Summer, not the rainy months of May and June. Summer in all its glory.
But I know it will be a dark day in October when my car is packed and I turn down Route 6 and head south. A dark day indeed.
At Devon’s, I work mornings, Friday to Monday. This was a conscious choice on my part, for a couple of reasons. One, was that these are the most lucrative mornings of the week, tip-wise. And two, was that although working weekend days might curtail my nighttime carousing, working a bit hungover or tired was nothing I couldn’t handle. I am a 46-year old gay man who likes to live life to the fullest, afterall.
One surprising thing about this schedule is that it most certainly has curtailed my going out. As I mentioned before, my weekends are relatively sedate, and I only stay out till closing one or two nights during the week (closing here is sensible 1am).
And maybe because of my….maturity and habit of actually showing up to work, Devon and my coworkers call me “the last man standing.” I’ve worked with 3 people in two short months who couldn’t hack the early hours. They’ve dropped like flies, mainly because they enjoyed their nights so much. I’m now working through the fourth.
He showed up this morning in absolutely no shape to work. I’ll not go into details, but I put him in the corner rolling napkins and finished the pre-breakfast set-up myself. When I couldn’t reach Devon, I took matters in my own hand and got ahold of the other reliable morning server. He had a yoga class to teach, but said he’d come in afterwards. That left me with two and a half hours solo on one of the busiest Sundays of the year.
But rather than panic or freak out, I developed a plan. Lucky contestant number 4 would continue to roll silverware, run my drinks and clear tables. I’d work the door until Dev arrived, allowing myself up to 10 tables at a time (the place has 15 total). It was me vs. the whirling machinery of a popular, busy morning restaurant. I had no fear. I would do what I had to do. This could work.
And it did.
Hector, the sous chef, help up his end of the deal and provided me with flawless food. Devon showed up and ran defense at the door. Customers seemed to arrive at a nice pace and were not interested in special orders. There were no parties of 8 with special-diet-needs children. I was generally upbeat and fun. I was efficient beyond belief. Not a single slice of bacon slipped through the proverbial cracks. I rocked it.
I learned today that I can do anything. Anything I want. I can make this dream – whatever it is – happen. Once I have it figured out, look out. I’ll be ready to roll.