Thursday, June 5, 2008

Don't hold the mayo

Sandwich Girl Delivers
by KM

Madame Bombshell licked her lips. Her pinup perfect hips flared beneath her shiny silk periwinkle pencil skirt. Her tits rose and fell along the edges of a lacy white bra barely covered by a thin ivory silk blouse, open wider than necessary above her ample cleavage. The small raised squares under her skirt revealed garter straps and buckles. A gleaming string of creamy pearls circled her beautiful neck.

I couldn’t help myself. I stared rudely at her, looking her up and down. I self-consciously ran my fingers across my damp hairline when I realized it was her. It was Madame Bombshell herself, not what she said. It was her largesse, her aura of lioness, her big, bold beauty that made me feel wickedly weak, cold and dry on top, hot and damp below.

“I don’t care if a piece of cheese falls on the ground. Cheese is expensive! Just pick it up quick and slap it back on. Who will notice? Nobody will notice! Quick! Pick it up! Put it back on!”

Max’s cheese rant pulls me out of my thoughts, shaking Madame Bombshell loose from my mind…..for now.

I bend over, my pink denim mini-skirt hiking up my thighs. The fabric curls inward at the edge of my round ass as I retrieve the fallen cheese.

“Whatever you say Boss,” I mumble shaking my head in astonishment at the dirtiness of the command I am about to obey, slapping the floor-tainted cheese atop the mayo-slathered sourdough. Slap! I wipe cheese residue from my fingers onto my apron and tug my skirt down.

Mad Max is watching my every move, the crown of his balding head glistening with sweat. At six-foot-two, I tower over the little Napoleon by at least eight inches and have a crane’s view of his scalp. When the top of his little head sweats, I know he means business. Every time someone orders a “small Italian on a hoagie roll,” I imagine serving Max on a bun, all wrapped up with mustard on his ass. I always giggle when I hear that. I want to say, “Are you sure you don’t want a large Greek in a Pita instead? The small Italian isn’t very filling…and he has a terrible temper.”

Max owns the hottest, sweatiest, dirtiest, most popular deli in the city. A stream of customers marches to our hole-in-the-wall to place orders from dawn ‘till dusk. Max’s Deli is rather famous, but in the scheme of things, I am nothing. I am the anonymous worker bee. I am the nameless pink skirt, the faceless condiment slapper, meat handler, cheese grabber. I am simply “Sandwich Girl.”

The only air conditioning in the tiny deli is not conditioning at all, but an air beating from the blades of a dusty, greasy fan propped up on a cardboard box. It is August in Phoenix. 95 degrees at 8 a.m. It will only become more like hell as the day goes on….and on…..and on. In the late afternoon, all hell will break loose. The skies will darken with swirling purple monsoon clouds. Hard, fat raindrops will pour from the sky. Water will run down the street, washing over my platform sandals and splashing onto my calves as I run for the bus.

Every day I scrape together change from the bottom of my purse, my pockets, my dresser drawer, under the couch, sometimes even the newspaper box on the corner, and catch a bus downtown to work my ass off for more change… I can buy a bus ride home and hopefully have enough tips from my deliveries for something as luxurious as a cold can of beer.

Every day I make piles of Max’s famous sandwiches. Every day I scoop gooey mounds of greasy potato, macaroni and coleslaw salads into Styrofoam containers, wrap pickles in cellophane, and pull plastic-wrapped chips from the shelf. Every day I pulled the knob on the frozen yogurt machine and swirl it into cups and cones. Every day I hand-carry lunches toward heaven into divinely cool offices, delivering them with polite eagerness into the mouths of hungry suits and skirts in the skyscrapers towering over our sweatshop.

“Hey S.G. – delivery up! Let’s go!”

A box containing Styrofoam packaged lunches is planted atop my bent arms. With a quick turn of my hips, I head out the open doorway and march up the street, eager to quench my desire to fucking cool off for five minutes.

A few days before, I swooned with my delivery in the exquisitely frigid tenth story office of the National Bank Tower with a first-time order. After checking in with the glossy-lipped receptionist, Madame Bombshell, a gorgeous tall blonde, made a grand entrance into the lobby. She circled around me like a shark as I balanced the box of sandwiches, one of which was laced with a slice of rescued cheese that made me feel especially naughty. I had no idea at that moment how naughty I could really feel….or want to feel.

“Just look at you Sandwich Girl,” Bombshell said, her stilettos clicking circles around me. She handed me a twenty. “With legs like that…you could go places. How can we make sure you deliver all of our orders?”

I straightened my spine and placed the lunch order on the reception counter. “Thank you! Thank you so much,” I stammered, my throat tightening with an odd numbness. I fingered the crisp twenty in my hand. It felt cool and clean against my skin. “Just ask for Sandwich Girl.”

… be continued

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