Week 9 February 26- March 4, 2023
Prompt: Friends on the Town
‘A single thread in a tapestry
Though its color brightly shines
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design
And the stone that sits on the very top
Of the mountains mighty face
Does it think it’s more important
Than the stones that form the base?
So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life
Look at your life through heaven’s eyes’
Through Heaven’s Eyes from The Prince of Egypt Song by Brian Stokes Mitchell
“Sorry, I’m late. Lawd Girl, scoot over and let me get under that heating lamp. Why you want to sit out here in the cold is anybody’s guess.
Ok, I have some dish to share. I know, it’s Lent so you aren’t gossiping but you can listen, and this is good!! What? Don’t look at me that way. You don’t want me to tell you? Hmph, Well I didn’t think so.
Ok? What? Do you already know what you want to order? Ok, ok, let me just get this out of the way. Hey, young lady, is your fish fresh? Yes, well, I’ll risk it. You know I’ve been craving some good fish. OK, bring me the Catfish Fingers and fries, cole slaw, and sweet tea.
Honey, you know their sweet tea here is the main reason I keep coming back. Ok, here you go. Oh wait, I’m going to want some of your peach cobbler for dessert so pull a dish for me now. I don’t want to hear you are out of it when I get done with my meal, hear?
Alright, so you know my sorority sister, Marie Bowman? This is about her daughter Sheba who is my godchild. The girl is a senior in high school this year and has a job at that high faluttin’ restaurant over in the TriBeCa area. Makes good tips but you know she earns every penny. They never let her forget that she’s just the help and there to put up with all their nonsense. Ok, OK hold your horses I am getting to it.
So, she had this large party the other night. Had to be about 16 people and she’s running her little rear end off and dodging from the hands of most of the men and some of the women too.
Yeah, you heard me right. Once the liquor starts flowing it’s a free-for-all and they’re treating her like an appetizer. She’s holding it together because she is not going to let them get under her skin and make her lose her job.
So, one of the guys asks her to get him some sweet Asian vinegar for them rammin’ noodles and she has to go to a back store room to get it. She is hustling as quick as she can but, on the way back as she passes near the restroom and a hand reaches out, grabs her hand and pulls her into the men’s room.
You know they have all those single-seaters now, so you don’t have to prove you are one or the other to go into them? He puts his hand over her mouth, pulls her to him and backs against the door so no one else can come inside. He starts feeling up her body with his other hand. She’s fighting to get free.
He whispers in her ear that she’s so sweet and he just wants a little taste. Talkin’ about how he can make it so good for her. He’d even pay her to come visit him from time to time. Maybe she could travel with him on his trips if she is very good and he knows she’d be very good. Well, her momma didn’t raise a helpless little thing and she stomps on his foot with those heavy combat boots she wears all the time.
Don’t laugh, I bet she almost broke his foot. He lets her loose and she pulls away and tells him to let her out of the room or she will scream. He gets angry, flings open the door, and tells her fine go ahead and leave. However, she might want to think again about saying anything to anyone. He’s a very important man who spends lots of money at the restaurant and she is no one, nothing, and might as well be invisible. If she makes a fuss, she will be the one who will pay. They can always get another waitress.
She hurries out of the bathroom, and he closes the door behind her. She goes back to the group and apologizes that it took her so long to find the item. She says she did look but unfortunately, they seem to be out of the vinegar. She noticed her boss was staring and looking very unhappy. Sheba figures he’s angry about her having been gone so long.
I know, but wait, there’s more. The jerk from the bathroom returns to the table and takes his seat. He even had the nerve to kiss his wife on the top of her head and wink at Sheba while he is doing it. She keeps it together, manages to get through the evening and they don’t even tip all that good.
Then, she got his name from the receipt. You won’t believe it. None other than Jonathon Barker. Yep, that’s the one. Lots of family money and very well-known in town. She says she hasn’t seen him in the restaurant before but apparently, he’s a regular.
She came to me all upset and thinking about quitting her job. She makes good money but as she tells me, it’s only money and she can get another job. I tell her don’t quit just yet, give me a few weeks to see if I can help.
Now I know you have never been a big fan of Greek houses. You know it is true, but as I have always told you, it isn’t about parties, well not just about the parties, it’s about connections. Not just the people you know today, but people who came before you.
I made a phone call to the president of the chapter. You have heard me talk about Sister Jentry. Yes, you have too. Anyway, talk about your small world, turns out she is working on a deal with Mr. Barker’s company. Oh no, not Jonathan Barker but Edward Barker, the old man. Yep, his father. Nice man, very old school, you know, the type who stands up when a woman joins the table. You just know he was not at all happy to hear about what Jonathan had been up to.
You know well as I do that heads of churches and states have been brought down by just the possibility of impropriety and sexual misconduct in this day of the Me Too movement. He felt Jonathan might have been promoted too quickly and needed to go back to work in the smaller units for a little more, the word she said he used was “seasoning” until he matured some more.
Yeah, I know. Don’t you just love it? What is it you always say? ‘Karma drives a big bus, and she has everyone’s address.’ Even for an “invisible child” like Sheba. Yes, yes yes. Hmmmmm, this catfish wasn’t half bad. Where did that waiter go? I am ready for my peach cobbler.”