Nonfiction | July 14, 2015

My brother had held the head dishwasher position at the Bamboo Gardens for three years. When he went off to college, I took his place. But I was not half the dishwasher he was. I admit this without shame, for he was thought to be the best dishwasher in the Tidewater region, a saint in the kitchen, a reliable grunt. He’d trip the rinse cycle into overdrive with his elbow and whip one tray of dishes after another into the beautiful machine. He made a hairnet look cool. He’d come home steamed, smelling of detergent and grease, a parcel of Singapore noodles in his grip. Let’s face it: I was not half the worker he was. On busy nights, Carl had to pay both Greg Glover and me just to keep up. On my brother’s final shift, Carl gave him a fancy pen set. The dish room seemed vacant for weeks afterward. You could hear water dripping from somewhere but never find the source.

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