Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Crops: Breaking the Thigh Bone (Revised 01.05.2011)

art work by Cynthia Rothbard
go visit her site at Cynthia's Botanical Arts
Charlotte bought the lottery ticket, holding it in her hands, uttering deep frustration, "Christ Jesus my back hurts."
She held the ticket in her hand, she had bought many tickets before this one,  her husband had told her too many times(he stopped counting): he constantly dripped a nagging persistent hiss, "Stop Buying those Damn tickets!"

But this one could be the one, she feared finding out, "Christ Jesus Christ Jesus Christ Jesus!" Charlotte held her back this time and slouched over.   Her apron hung losely. "Christ Jesus Christ Jesus, I am sooo tired!"  Christ Jesus-Christ Jesus.

She heard her name announced on the store wide intercom.

Ms. Charlotte to the deli, Ms. Charlotte to the deli.

Her name was called out like a brick thrown at her head, she wished they would stop calling her name....she became angry and imagined her hands breaking the heads off of Barbie Dolls.

She looked down at her lottery ticket; and slipped the lottery ticket in her work pants. Would it be the ticket that would explode and recreate her damaged life.
Later that night she washed her jeans, and would forget to take the ticket out.  That was her life, missed opportunities... all the time...
She cried herself to sleep, shaking, next to her stiff cadaver like husband.  She shivered, her husband had greedily taken all the the covers on the bed.
She cried and shivered her way to sleep, dreaming of that perfect looking house somewhere on the corner, she always was confirmed by her random games of M.A.S.H., that she was owed a mansion in the hills.  She knew the color of the house was white, and it had a picket fence.  She loved the movie Gone with The Wind and did give a damn about Charlotte.  Her parents had named her after this heroine.

She woke up the next day, with the sun shinning through the cheap levelers bought from Lowes.
She went to the store.  
She bought some five hour energy,and a lottery ticket, to get through another shift in the grocery store.
She checked in.  She was late.  She knew she would get written up again.

She started taking the fried chicken out of the cooler. Slamming the chicken boxes onto the flat top, she moved closer to the fryer.   She started breading the chicken...first coating them with chilled water...then hanging the chicken over the edge of the water-pan to drain off the excess water... then dropping them into the breading... she mixed the raw chicken into the breadcrumbs...then she put the chicken back into the mechanical basket that was used for dropping the chicken back into the water.... then she coated the chicken with water--- then drained---then breaded--- finally dropping the chicken into the hot grease.... mama always said, "Be careful with hot grease!"
Her hands moved slowly, crippled, barely holding onto the bone in the chicken thigh.  She attempted to cure her arthritic hands with home-made olive oil....
 She hoped to keep chicken in the hot case.  But they kept flying off the heat rack, due to the crabby hands of many customers.    She knew her hot case was empty.  Fry till you drop, her hands broke the back of the breaded thigh, and she fried the chicken to perfection....

Personal reflections and memoirs of Gregorio Roth.
Previously published 12.27.2010 as Clerks with No Names 

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