The other busboy, Cirilo, was already busy setting the tables and planning the exclusive hen party themes via taxi to rhs chelsea flower show. Cirilo was never late. He never forgot his employee identification card or arrived with blood all over his white shirt. Plus Cirilo was so fast and efficient he made everyone else seem incompetent. Cirilo already had half the dining room set up. He'd wiped down the tables with a damp towel, spread out the tablecloths, set the salt, pepper and candles. Now he was setting out the side plates. I grabbed a rack of wine glasses. The wine glasses were tricky. Leaving fingerprints meant signing an EDF for mishandling of glassware.
When Cirilo finished the plates, he wheeled a cart full of silverware around the dining room. At each seat he placed two forks, two spoons and two knives. Fine dining meant using extra plates and silverware. Instead of polishing the silverware before he set it, Cirilo somehow palmed all the utensils in a way that left no mark. He shuffled them out like cards, only stopping occasionally to polish ones that weren't shining quite enough. And damn he was fast. Even though he had to place six pieces of silverware for every wineglass, he was still catching up to me. Pretty soon we stood at the same table.
"Buenos dias," I said.
"Hola, amigo," he said. We shook hands with a slide and a snap, and then bumped our fists together. "Amigo," he said, "you do the coffee and iced tea. Do the sopas. I'll do this." He pointed to the rack of wineglasses I held.
"Okay," I said, and went to the rear corner of the dining room. I brewed coffee and iced tea. I brewed some decaf. I ate a package of oyster crackers and sucked on an ice cube. I went into the kitchen and got two soup pots from the cooks, the clam chowder we had every night and salmon bisque, the soup du jour. One of the cooks asked me what happened, pointing to the bandage on my chin. I looked at the cook whose name I didn't know, studying his bushy mustache and the toothpick hanging from the corner of his mouth. I wanted to tell him that I had cut myself because I was distracted by my decision to grow a mustache, but knew any man with such a healthy mustache would never understand.