"I have work for you." My diaphragm trembles for a fraction of a second. My head fills with the air of contentment. I watch eagerly as she types and clicks, types and clicks. Her eyes focus in on one of her monitors. I watch anxiously and eagerly await the words from her parted lips. 

"Antonio's in Addison." I feel my hands tingle, ready to tapdance across the keyboard. She prints it and I stride down the walkway between the cubicles and the private offices. My coworkers barely take notice of me as I turn the corner and enter the dispatch room. Atop the printer, smelling of warm toner, are four sheets of white paper. Two are larger, they must be the Dinner pages. I scoop them up gently, careful not to muss the clean white edges. They cover the open space on my desk completely. Now let me begin.


Step one, I enscribe the name of the establishment, lunch or all day. This I do in a blue that my eyes relate to a swimming pool. I switch pens, replacing and removing caps. Red like lipstick appears like magic in the carefully printed letters of my name and the task at hand "update".

I line the papers flat against one another in their reapective sizes. The clamp of the stapler is pleasing to my ears, so official. 


Three clicks of the mouse and up pops a new screen. A list with name upon name of Texas eateries. My eyes scan the list landing on Antonio Ristorante. I follow the link which opens an organized file of all the dishes available, and those no longer available. One click opens a category, another opens the first item. Antipasti, Prosciutto di Parma e Malone.


An idea occurs to me then. Innovation! I press the dinner pages against the wall of my cubicle and use an old and otherwise useles tac to secure it in my direct field of vision. Yes, this is good. Now I can proceed.

Each clackety clack of the keys is like a beat in a song. I fall into rhythm with the hip hop music that has become the soundtrack of my day. Each letter must match those on the printed papers. Each apostrophe, comma, period, colon, semicolon must be placed precisely so. The meticulous nature of this may be annoying if not daunting to the others, but to me it is comforting. For the short hours that I will spend editing and proofing this menu, my mind is quiet. All the clutter fades into the background, and I am calm. What an unexpected means of easing my anxieties. Menus.

Me*nu" (?), n. [F., slender, thin, minute. See 4th Minute.]

The details of a banquet; a bill of fare.


© Webster 1913.

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