Anthony Bourdain and the Naughty Chef de Partie

Nervous was not the word. More like shaking in my boots. It was cold at five a.m. in the alley as I waited for someone to let me into the restaurant. Surrounded by the stained brick walls and the dumpsters and the rats I wondered if I was really ready for this. This was the big time. This was it.

The three cleanup guys came down the alley together and spoke in that rapid fire Spanish I couldn’t keep up with. I must have looked ridiculous in my white coat and my pale face and my glasses. My hands balls in my pockets and my eyes wide and hopeful. The bread guy came round the corner and I tensed up. He was unshaven and his eyes were bloodshot, he fumbled with the keys and hardly even looked at me. He smelled like vodka and sweat.

The kitchen of Les Halles was all at once spotless and messy, if that makes any sense. Pots and pans scrubbed a thousand times all hung in their specific places. Every sink deep and prophetically empty. Every burner matte black and ready to work. I’d been given a tour a few days before. I’d been told what I was supposed to do and I still had the list of prep work in my pocket. I’d read it several hundred times. My boyfriend had laughed, but he understood. This was my dream job.

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Mister McIntyre’s Secret, Part Eight

I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know what I was wearing. I remember a flash of small white polka dots on a sea of black. Some little pill box hat. My face got flushed if I thought about Miss Peterson pulling up the stockings that clipped to the garters under the dress. Every thought in my head made me blush. Every memory of the past few hours and every expectation about what was to come in the future.

We were walking down the street and she hailed a taxi. It was something I was never able to do. People always seemed to walk in front of me and take mine. We were going to the train station. I sat, still wet under my dress and frilly underwear. I wanted to stop being wet desperately, but thoughts were attacking me like Miss Peterson’s fingers and having almost the same effect.

I followed behind Miss Peterson, the world a blur of men in suits and pretty women. She bought tickets, she bought magazines and cigarettes. I shook my head to coffee after she asked me the third time. She had a smile as she looked at my hazy confusion, like she’d just won a bet.

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Mister McIntyre’s Secret – Part Seven

It was a Wednesday when I finished my assignment. I put my diary on Mister McIntyre’s desk with all my dirty secrets open for him. My teenage fumblings and my embarrassing attempts at dating. All of my dirty dreams and forbidden fantasies. All the times I had to go into the bathroom and rub myself while covering my mouth because Mister McIntyre had leaned over me while I typed a letter or chided me for taking too long at lunch.
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Mister McIntyre’s Secret – Part Six

April 19th, 1964

There is a large lavish hotel room. Rich crimson and gold wallpaper, a huge bed, gilded chairs and lavish mirrors. Mister McIntyre is standing in front of the largest mirror straightening his tie. He is in his black suit, the one he wears to big meetings. His shirt is harsh white and he is wearing his cornflower blue tie. He is freshly shaven, his hair is parted neatly and slick. You can count the comb lines.

Marcy Peterson, his mistress, is walking out of the washroom. A slinky low cut black dress. Her black hair long and silk soft falling over her shoulders. Her lips are dark red and glimmering.

He towers over her. He stands almost six foot five and she, like me, is just over five feet tall. He leans in and they kiss, at first tenderly and then his hand is in her hair, pulling her back so he can kiss her neck hungrily. Her eyes are glazed with pleasure.

He picks her up and carries her to the bed. Standing over her he takes off his jacket and folds it neatly on the night stand. He then methodically rolls up his sleeves exposing his muscular hairy arms. He loosens and removes his tie, she sits up on the bed eagerly wanting more of his lips but he pushes her down.

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Mister McIntyre’s Secret – Part Five

She didn’t say anything when she walked in. She just brushed me aside and sauntered in with that strut she had. She looked around as she pulled each finger of her glove and then took them off and slipped them into her purse.

“You don’t look sick.” she said looking me up and down as I closed and locked the door.

“I mean, you’re pale and your hair is dull and lifeless, but I’m guessing you always look like that.”

Why was she in my apartment? Obviously Mister McIntyre sent her. Why her?

“As I can tell from your silly little scrunched up face and crossed eyes you are obviously trying to fathom why I’m here.”

Her gloves were finally off. She was walking around my living room, a look of amusement on her face.
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Mister McIntyre’s Secret – Part Four

There was a line and it had been crossed.

I wasn’t stupid. I knew how I looked, how I acted. I was his puppy dog, his whipping post, his girl Friday. I swooned around him, I knew I did that. For all my dedication and obedience I got a pat on the head, not even on the butt. I was sexless on his eyes, but at the same time he took advantage of my attraction to him. I was alright with that. In fact it made me work harder. I wasn’t doing it to win his heart or get a kiss. I served Mister McIntyre because I wanted to and it made me happy and he deserved it.

This was something else though, something new and of scared me more than all the secrets, all the waiting and all the frustration. My heart had given up racing. There was a new fear and it was slow and methodical.

He didn’t call me into his office for the rest of the day. He came back from lunch and as he opened his door I could see the little bit of pink on his desk.

He went to a meeting and had a drink with a client. When he came back he didn’t even look at be as he walked inside. His face was as irritable as ever. I was sitting like a death row inmate. The calm of inevitable doom had come over me.

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