Suffolk Kitchen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   This kitchen exemplifies an aura of decadence and depravity that few "restaurants" ever reach let alone maintain on a constant basis. Though newly renovated, the repairs only provide new stitches for an already open wound of disuse and ignorance. The walls are stained gray from severe wont of cleansing. Lattice work section dividers, though freshly painted, still look antique and dilapidated from years of abuse. The floor of the restaurant, like every other part, refuses to let itself look clean. It is a sea of ground-in dirt, Styrofoam cups, empty cigarette cartons, and other assorted flotsam, which is never picked up, is left to languish among the other trash. The air has the stench of stale smoke, and the foul odor of unswabbed horse stalls, which when merged produces an unfittingly noisome odor for a supposed culinary establishment. Silence, a golden commodity, is also an implausible one. Constantly repeating songs from a jukebox, clicking of pinball machines, the sound of employees partaking in a friendly game of billiards, and whines of impudent customers, all invade the ear canals in one ominous flurry.

Those same benefactors of this cuckoo's nest are also as unwanted and unpresentable as their environment. These customers occupy two main factions. The jockeys, by far the more coarse of the two, are more prevalent, like bees converging on a hive that is too small to accommodate their vast numbers. Their faces bare wind-whipped scars from the constant beatings of cold weather. Their hands are callused and cracked from the indominatable task of holding and tugging reins all day. The counterparts, administrators/horse owners, are the other side of the coin completely. They are well-groomed, narcissistic individuals who look severely out of place. Most are of a lank and laconic build and have unchanging, austere expressions, as cold as stone that can no doubt be attributed to the depressing surroundings. They constantly pollute the already thin air with their cigars, which kill the last of whatever fresh air the waft of the horse stalls didn't dispose of. One could easily ask why I subject myself to this place, for which I have so much contempt. There is no reply, because with or without me, this place would be the same, and would be detailed in a different essay with somebody else's name attached. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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