LJ-razz, 6.19.06: return to Paz de Cristo

Paz de Cristo hasn't changed much. Once again, I found myself standing next to a 10-year-old boy, both of us chopping celery with disturbingly dull chef knives, cracking jokes with everyone at my station so they would stop grimacing at the moldy broccoli. I made my old friend Susan throw all the broccoli away when Linda wasn't looking. Some of my old churchy pals were there, which was cool, and I caught up with them and made some new good acquainances. Joe is still there as the kitchen director, creating menus out of whatever's dumped off on his loading dock. Mesa PD still locks the gate after everyone's left, and the place still gets a good-natured officer with a stern look but an easy smile. Tonight's menu was BBQ chicken on buns (hamburger buns, hot dog buns, whatever), beans, Italian macaroni salad, fruit salad (there's always fruit salad), "pastries" (a cartful of bundt cakes, all different flavors), and the regular PB & J station for sandwiches to go. Linda remembered me, which was miraculous since I haven't been there in so long. She put me at the drink station with some very energetic old folks armed with pitchers to keep the guests from serving themselves. It was 109 today. I was the person filling their pitchers and individual cups for guests who didn't want ice. As Linda put it, "A lot of them don't have good teeth--they don't want that cold ice in their cups, so you can let them through." It was cool. There's always a person or two who likes to come up to just talk. Today it was a guy named Jesse. We talked about our respective tattoos. He got his in prison. I got mine at Immortal Art. Bart, the church organist, came in a little after I did, and we had a good hug. I miss him and his wife, Leslie. Linda almost put him on the chopping block, but then remembered how bad he was with knives. Every time he works in a kitchen, he manages to cut himself. Since pianists/organists need their hands (his are insured), they put him on peanut butter and jelly duty. Basically, he makes a bin loaded with these sandwiches for guests to take on their way out so they have something to eat for later. After PB & J duty, he jumped on dishes. Afterward, when we were cleaning up, doing the last of the dishes and washing the work stations, I overheard him talking about his injury of the day. Apparently, he'd suffered an abrasion injury from a steel wool pad--a loose poke of metal snagged his hand. He and Leslie told me that wanted to come over for dinner, so I'm going to make finger food. Haha!


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