I am a wizard, my spatula is my wand. I am a grill cook, short-order cook, fry cook. It's who I am. It's who I've been for 40 plus years.
But the magic is fading. Tired feet and aching wrists are taking their toll. My time is passing. The time of the short-order cook is nearly over, replaced by the line.
Three pairs of plastic covered hands to prepare a sterile plate.
Yet, I'm still the master, with my wand.
But every time I lay it down to attend to business, the magic seeps away. The bill paying pen, the complaining phone, the digital bookkeeper...all vying for my hand. And the wand is idle. And the joy of performing magic wanes.
So it is time to move on. But...
Not today, not yet.
Not until someone new, with youth and energy, and fresh ideas comes to possess the realm. Until then, I'll work my magic. I'll embrace the joy filled moments, when the spatula and hand are one. When I'm doing what I do best.
Until the magic is finally gone.
In 1984, my father asked me if I would come to work for him if he bought a restaurant. I gladly said yes. I was working for a fast food chain at the time. I had worked with my father before, for many years. He taught me the art of the short-order cook. I loved it.
He passed away in 2004, my daughter and I have spent the last nine years continuing the business.
Things have changed. She has three small children to raise. I have other things I'd like to do. (Like writing) And the hours have gotten longer instead of shorter. I'm pushing 60, it's time to do something different. I don't know what. And there's no sure when.
The business has been listed for sale. It could be two months, or two years. We're there until the end.
And until the end...
I am the best damned short-order cook in the area!