The next night was a busy one at the restaurant. Due to an overcorrection of coffee trying to rectify a vicious red wine hangover, combined with not enough sleep, I wasn’t exactly in top form. And managing the joint for Vito was not proving to be the funfest I thought it’d be. I was running around seating people at dirty tables because the busboy was, yet again, stoned out of his gourd. The phone was ringing off the hook with take out orders. The cooks, at a special decibel level of hostile, were back to pretending to be non-English speaking, unleashing screaming Spanish at the waiters, busboys, customers, me. And Buck? As usual, he was up to his quivering, red-rimmed eyeballs in margarita mix and sweat, requiring me to jump behind the bar to bail him out not one, not two, but three times.
When the insanity finally cooled down around ten p.m., I poured a couple fingers of tequila into a cup with strong black tea, eased my barking dogs up on a barstool. Sipping Mexican tea, drift-dreaming, I closed my eyes and everything went soft and quiet.