Tim and Jeremy are both waiters at a restaurant in downtown New York City. During slow times at work, to stave off boredom when it is slow, the two young men draw pictures. These pictures are made using ink and what is called the "Triple Dupe Pad," a book of paper used to place orders in the kitchen. The drawings usually take about a week to make, all the while also being used by fellow employees to take orders; this sometimes leads to other collaborators or in a couple cases, to the loss of the work. The drawings are then scanned and colored in Photoshop where they come to life in stunning technicolor! The subject matter varies from piece to piece, as they are made over a long course of time and under various moods and states of mind. They all retain a playfulness that serves as a coping mechanism after spending a night catering to the endless needs of hungry patrons.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#66 "The Dirty Shirty Gang" In Color!!! July 17, 2013

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The Music Boxer

I hadn't been to work in a while. I was somewhere, I forget where now. It was probably one of two places, but the specifics are lost on me now. I was settling in to work as one does after an extended time away from the workplace. You know, when you are kind of happy to be back and working again, but still a little melancholy about the trip you were just on. You think about where you were a week ago, two thousand miles from work, where your co-workers were the whole time, toiling away while you were on a beach or something.
But I was kind of happy to be back. I certainly needed the money.
I was excited to get started, to see some of the regulars and chat about the adventures I had been on. I would tell them the highlights and maybe the lowlights. We would talk about getting there and getting back. Somehow people always like to talk about that. It's almost like it comforts them to know that going on a long trip requires a fair amount of travel between the two places. If this travel takes a turn for the worse, it helps the person who never left feel better that they never left. It makes them think that well, I didn't go anywhere but thank goodness I didn't, with all that confusion and hassle just getting there and back.
I was back. The guys in kitchen had already made the usual jokes about me not having a job anymore, they had given it away to someone else since I was gone too long. I had already told the stories over dinner to my co-workers, eager to hear something new. We weren't open yet, but there was already a little buzz of activity over at the bar. My Monday was their Friday. My first day back was their end of a long, awful week. They needed that first, second, and third drink. I needed some coffee.
I went into the coat room to change clothes, from my street clothes into my work attire. Button down shirt, tie, and bistro apron. I put on my King Kong tie and tucked it in so only the bi-planes flying high over the Empire State building were visible, while Kong himself stayed hidden beneath my shirt. People really loved that tie, somehow, even without seeing that Kong was always hidden away, minutes from an ugly death.
It was then that I heard it. It had been the next CD in the 5 disc CD player the whole time, I simply hadn't recognized that the previous CD was the same as it always was. And now, this. This one CD that was on an endless repeat. Waiting patiently as 4 other CDs played before it, until it spins into place and starts. I don't know exactly how long it had been in there. It must have been years, spinning around in the same order and playing the same music 6 nights a week for how long? How could anyone gauge that? The only people who would know tried not to think about it. Outside of the place, we all put it out of our minds; tried our best to not think about the tunes. I'm sure some of us dreamed about the tunes, over and over again, playing in our work nightmares. The trumpet, the saxophone, that one solo, that one note that isn't right but is so ingrained in our minds that if it were to magically become correct we would all revolt.
The whole CD came back to me in those first couple of notes. I could see the entire setlist in my head, knew all of the parts and all of the breaks. I didn't need to hear it, it was so deep within my psyche, I could recite it a capella on the street corner and pick up some extra change. I hadn't thought about it for the entire time I was gone, and now, within one hour of being back, here it was, waiting to greet me upon my returning. Like a bully waiting for me after school, waiting to beat me up because he liked the girl I liked but couldn't articulate himself enough to make her notice. He just bellowed and howled out the same tunes over and over again, punching, kicking and scratching at me with them until I wore them as scars.

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