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  • It had been a year of paying, planning, testing... tons of paperwork. A few fees, evenings in an over-stuffed cafeteria, days of studying, and hours of waiting. Once I was licensed to drive and had a means to roam, I needed a job to keep it up. I obtained one quickly at an Italian restaurant inside of a shopping center between a tattoo parlor and a hair & nail salon.

    The conditions were never boring. I would go after school everyday and sometimes on weekends. A fiery, 40 something, Italian woman gave me most of my instructions. She would be your restaurant's owner - bouncing around the place in old, faded jeans, a black t-shirt, and a sauce-splattered apron. She was a prior overseas contract worker, I think, with business always on the mind. I remember her for her pasta dishes, dark-black hair, and smart phone.

    To say I was a waitress is fair. To say I was a lot of other things is fair, as well. I swept, mopped, hosted, waited. I made salads, bank and delivery runs, counted money drawers. I washed the most abominable pots and pans by hand and filthy sponge, and sometimes I just kept someone company.

    I remember the chef that worked there during most of my experience. A strange, small man in his late 40s, he would proudly showcase the purses he sold out of his trunk. One girl I had known from childhood. She had grown up adversely and put in a lot of time and energy there. Another girl was always stoned, speaking of weekend trips, and asking for rides. A neighboring business owner that was especially territorial - not fun when angry. The assistant was busy; he had a smart phone, too. He complained a lot. I think a lot of people complained a lot.

    Eventually my suspicions outweighed my curiosity. I had washed enough filth with filth.

    Shortly after the business was closed and something else tried for a little while.
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