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Arguments and outbursts in a kitchen

Kilkenny, Ireland —

Maria, the head chef at Zuni, showed up just before 10 AM. Several people had come down for breakfast at the last minute. I wasn't prepped exactly up, and having been up at a friend's house until 4, I was a bit unsorted.

It was no big deal. One of those moments when you either keep the head or lose it, and I wasn't predisposed toward losing it. Not worth the trouble. I was fine.

M_ stopped, stood looking at me, and asked if I was alright. And stood looking at me. I asked her "Is there anything that we have to talk about?" Meaning, right then. She said "Oh, Jesus Christ."

She got her togs on and came in. I was still sorting the last of the breakfasts. She kept talking to me about the work I was doing. And proceeded to help me, which was no help at all to me. I told her that. I'd rather just keep doing it myself, and stay in rhythm. She wasn't having any.

That's how the day started, conflictive. We continued to conflict throughout the shift, off and on. Smiles and jibes between arguments and outbursts. It was alright.

— February 2003, Kilkenny Ireland