Service

By Gregory J. M. Kasunich

I’m going to fucking stab that bullshit moustache off his face!

Flecks of not-quite-chewed Parmesan and rosemary croutons flew out of her mouth as she said this and held a knife covered in five-layer tort in the air.

Standing there, in the middle of the warming kitchen, head to toe in her black and white banquet sever outfit, Sarah looked like a murderous, albeit classy, penguin.

First, that’s a cake knife. Second, how do you stab a moustache off?

David, or Dave rather, her brother, quipped through a mouthful of cold prime rib and burnt twice-baked potatoes, which he had just shoveled into his mouth without the aid of utensils.

Don’t have kids if you don’t want them. Don’t…

She wasn’t going to cry. She never did, but this seemed to be the closest she’s come. David turned his attention back to the extra wedding dinner he absconded with hours earlier.

I don’t want kids, ugh, the pooping and the screaming and the…

A jet stream of smoke shot across the room toward the siblings.

…the smell and the drooling and the…

Janice’s eyes crinkled as she held up her fifth gin and tonic and searched for a word, perhaps attempting to pinpoint aversion to children.

…and the responsibility.

The words soaked in gin and disgust. She shivered and vacuumed another sip through her bendy straw, her glasses now halfway down her nose, unnoticed. Time check. All good.

The bass pounded through the door and the fait warble of some sad Sinatra crooner faintly lapped the ears of the County Club’s wait staff as another waft of smoke pooled in the corner of the cramped, sweltering kitchen. Perched on a stack of unutilized chairs David sat silently, waiting until the awkwardness passed.

I’m not a baby sitter, I’m not a fucking maid, and I’m not interested in a game of grab ass in the linen closet with a forty seven year old pervert.

Golf membership be damned.

David’s joke didn’t land and the room continued to fill with heat and smoke and silence.

With her eyes unfixed and her hands wrapped around her glass Janice sighed through her tobacco worn larynx

Child, this is the thing you have to know. To some of these men, it’s still 1902. We don’t have Jews here, woman can’t golf without a man. That’s the way they want it, that’s what they believe. We get paid to make them feel that way.

She looks at her watch, adjusts her bra and looks at the seating chart.

Taking the cue, David disappointedly snuffs his half burnt Salem and gulps down the rest of his carbs and protein before checking his teeth and hair in the stainless steel icemaker.

Janice takes one more look at her crew and pulling her glasses off her face, she croaks,

Let’s clear dessert.

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