The Eyes

The Eyes

A Chapter by Kibbles and Quips
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This particular chapter details an interaction between the narrator and a guest he is serving who sparks a memory.

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Location: Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, Bloomington, IL sometime in February, 2014. “Hey, Kenn. There’s three at hibachi three,” my manager tells me. I pull out my pad and begin writing my name next to the “Server” portion and fill in for table three and he says, “It’s the daughter’s birthday.”
“Neat,” I say, but, S**t, I think. The first thing you must always do when taking a hibachi table is to turn on the hibachi grill. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to heat up properly before a chef can come out to cook and perform the show. Believe me, having forgotten before, it is one of the most awkward and embarrassing things a person can do. The chef will come out with his cart full with trays of rice, broccoli, carrots, and onions, and mushrooms, noodles, lemons, and eggs, and chicken, salmon, shrimp and steak, with teriyaki, soy, and ginger sauce, and salt and pepper, and knives and spatulas, and sake and vodka, and with Mr. WeeWee (a plastic fireman doll whose pants the chef pulls down to squirt water out onto a makeshift onion volcano for part of the show), and he will arrive and notice the clean cold grill before him without the telltale black spot in the middle, denoting that it is not ready yet. Then, he will leave the table with hardly a word, leaving the guests confused, to talk to me, and I will feel my heart drop, and I will have to break the bad news that this misstep is my fault, and, regardless of how good my day was, it will be ruined, and I will look back upon my mistake that night, and many nights to come, losing sleep over how I fucked up and how I deserve the five percent tip I had received.

So, I turn on the grill and I look up, and, although I can tell that all three are fit or slender, I am not paying attention to what they look like yet. Instead, I look through the family while I recite one of my automatic, regular greetings,
“Howdy-ho there, friends. How are we doing tonight?” “Good. How are you?” they ask politely. “Eh, a little hungry, but don’t worry about me, I’ve got some fried rice in back,” I joke for the hundredth time and we all chuckle.
“But, my name is Kenn,” I continue, “and I will be taking care of you tonight. Is there anything I can get you to drink while you browse around our wares? How about for you, sir?” I always start from my left. He’s a fit gentleman, probably in his early fifties, greying but not grey, with a dark brown blazer over a white undershirt. “A Bud Light bottle, please.” “Bud Light,” I repeat and turn to his wife who sits upright, properly, with a light blue cardigan over her shoulders, “and, for you, madam?”
“A glass of Moscato, if you wouldn’t mind,” she says with a smile. “Moscato. Sounds great.” I turn to the birthday girl while writing her mother’s drink order, “And, for you?” I ask, and look up. She’s in her late teens and wearing a white dress, and has silky black hair that falls just above her shoulders, with a tan complexion and freckles adorning her face and cheeks complimenting her coy disposition and bashful smile. I meet her large dark eyes as a faint and distant rhythmic noise grows, and there’s a soft sensation of someone lightly pressed against my palms and I can feel every nervous, quiet breath softly entering and stumbling out of me, brushing along my lips as she opens hers to break the muffled notes, “A Sprite, please,” and I’m back at Kobe in front of the family. “Is Sierra Mist okay?” I ask as I check if their grill is on.
Her chef, a stout Cuban from Miami named Danny, and I are sitting in the break room eating some after 9 P.M. dinner, but she is still on my mind and apparently his as well. "Dat chiquita, though," he says, staring at his food, chewing, "Dio! She’s a girl ya’ bring home to mama." "Yeah, never before had I so strongly believed in love at first sight." "Nah, ya' thinkin’ of - infat - of infatuation." "Well, yeah. It’s called hyperbole - poetic license." "Oh, okay. Well, she gotta be a li’l Latino o' 'talian wit dat skin tone. An’ doze freckles…" "Yeah…" The muffled noise returns. "Doze eyes, too." my vision is displaced. She's approaching in her silver dress, alone against the dark vague faces of my memory, sparkling white in the moving lights, and I realize that I’m pathetically under-dressed in my torn jeans and faded flannel, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I had dressed up; she’s perfect and all else looks insignificant, even derelict next to her. She tells me, “Kenn, dance with me.”

Who am I to say no? My nervous hands are on her waist. They take care not to be too arrogant or careless, but, regardless of any intention, they’re memorizing the curvature, the contour of where they’re placed, how soft and delicate and how warm she feels. I wish I can say I know which song is playing, but it’s still just muffled tones hidden behind the quiet sounds of my quivering breaths. I’m concentrating as hard as I can not to embarrass myself. I look up, but all around her may as well be only black; nothing else is worth noting except her dark brown hair, her freckled face, and her eyes -

- her eyes are a dark reflective canvas, but she alone holds the brush. Yet, in this moment she chose to look at me, and in her eyes the picture I wish she’d paint. “Eh hem,” I clear my throat, returning to work, “Yeah, those eyes.” There’s a silence as I wonder, Was it Jumper by Third Eye Blind? and the song finishes within my mind. And if you do not want to see me again I would understand, I would understand I would understand, I would understand I would understand, I would understand Can you put the past away?



© 2016 Kibbles and Quips



Author's Note

Kibbles and Quips
This is my first draft and very much a work in progress. The book is going to be an episodic thing with an overarching plot, whose chapter, or vignettes, can be taken, read, and appreciated in and of themselves.

Also, I just edited it and read through it once more. Apparently some of my formatting didn't stick or transfer. I tried to correct it. Yet, if you see anything off, please let me know.

My Review

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Featured Review

I'm unclear as to whether or not this is based on a true story or not but either way ,it will be very relatable to many readers for the simple fact that many a young man has had his love at first sight experience. I know I have. I found myself falling in love all over again. I read the review of M.L.Franchello and agreed with her suggestion to trim it back a tad. I thought you could use less explanation of the meals ingredients but more of the love and enchantment. Believe it or not my friend,I'm still a romantic at heart. As a young man I had a very similar experience to your story and I remember very vividly how magical and powerful the spell of love was for me. Very nice HandsomeKen

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kibbles and Quips

1 Year Ago

Hey! Thanks for reading this and reviewing.

Being a romantic can be fun, though; esp.. read more
Mr. Lopez

1 Year Ago

No problem , and if the list serves a purpose as of yet to be revealed in future chapters well then .. read more



Reviews

I'm unclear as to whether or not this is based on a true story or not but either way ,it will be very relatable to many readers for the simple fact that many a young man has had his love at first sight experience. I know I have. I found myself falling in love all over again. I read the review of M.L.Franchello and agreed with her suggestion to trim it back a tad. I thought you could use less explanation of the meals ingredients but more of the love and enchantment. Believe it or not my friend,I'm still a romantic at heart. As a young man I had a very similar experience to your story and I remember very vividly how magical and powerful the spell of love was for me. Very nice HandsomeKen

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kibbles and Quips

1 Year Ago

Hey! Thanks for reading this and reviewing.

Being a romantic can be fun, though; esp.. read more
Mr. Lopez

1 Year Ago

No problem , and if the list serves a purpose as of yet to be revealed in future chapters well then .. read more
This is something I danced between for a long time in my own fiction. The feeling that all authors have that the reader won't understand us, unless we explain everything blow by blow. You have a real raw talent here. But a few places I would trim, justttt a little bit... to leave just a little bit more for them to imagine, because you have a good grasp of emotional range, and for a lot of writers that is hard to do.. to evoke emotion in the reader... but it is a killer instinct, and I see it here. Let me show you an example:

"She's approaching in her silver dress, alone against the dark vague faces of my memory, sparkling white in the moving lights, and I realize that I’m pathetically under-dressed in my torn jeans, black and white unbuttoned flannel with a black Nirvana shirt underneath, and a White Sox baseball cap atop, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I had dressed up; she’s perfect and all else looks insignificant, even derelict next to her. She tells me, “Kenn, dance with me.”

The start of this paragraph is almost just perfect, and you are starting to evoke feelings for me, big ones... so don't lose me with a few too many details afterwards... look: this part is very very emotional and pulls me in:

"She's approaching in her silver dress, alone against the dark vague faces of my memory, sparkling white in the moving lights, and I realize that I’m pathetically under-dressed"

After this part, you begin to describe the way he is under dressed. If you tailored it down just a bit it might not distract from this rich flow of inner emotion and turmoil you've got going for the reader....

Original:
"and I realize that I’m pathetically under-dressed in my torn jeans, black and white unbuttoned flannel with a black Nirvana shirt underneath, and a White Sox baseball cap atop, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I had dressed up; she’s perfect and all else looks insignificant, even derelict next to her. She tells me, “Kenn, dance with me.”

But what if you said something like:
and I realize I'm pathetically under-dressed
in my torn blue jeans and the faded old flannel that barely covers my old concert tee. But it wouldn’t have mattered if I had dressed up; she’s perfect and all else looks insignificant, even derelict next to her. She tells me, “Kenn, dance with me.”

Also breaking the sentence helps the flow. You can tell me where to shove my ideas, or you can take some of it into your mind and mull it over, totally up to you. Just shooting out options. Also, I like the dialogue.. but I wish you would have a teeeeenyyy bit more of the prose also, simply because you are great at pulling the emotional strings... again, an ability a lot of people never obtain. Great work! Thanks for sharing it with me.

..Misty






Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

M. L. F.

1 Year Ago

If it was a poem, I could review that fast... It's after three am here and now I'm going to work a b.. read more
Kibbles and Quips

1 Year Ago

Oh, yeah, whenever works for you! I am in no rush. I like to workshop in my reviews, too. Sometimes .. read more
M. L. F.

1 Year Ago

The day may be fake little chicken turkeys, aka "baby churkeys"... but yeah... *rolls eyes*... But t.. read more
omg I loved it so much. the emotion behind it,everything about this makes me want to read more.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Shae-Leigh Johns

1 Year Ago

yeah, well let me know ok
Kibbles and Quips

1 Year Ago

Will do! It'll be at least a year before I finish it, though.
Shae-Leigh Johns

1 Year Ago

alright :)

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Added on November 1, 2016
Last Updated on November 25, 2016
Tags: Love, serving, memory


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Kibbles and Quips
Kibbles and Quips

Chicago, IL



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Follow me @Kibbles_n_Quips Like me on FB https://www.facebook.com/KibblesandQuips/ Howdy, friends. I'm a writer who is still figuring out what he likes to write and, to be honest, I hope that nev.. more..

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