Here’s the latest installment of Kiko’s Tale, and he’s back. More observations of work in NYC, and not the kind for people who go to college.
And of course, if you want to start from the beginning, go here.
The day continued with delivery after delivery interspersed with chopping and cleaning. Out with an omelet, back to the basement to prep more onions; two cheeseburger deluxes to an office, come back and shred another three heads of iceberg lettuce; fried eggs on toast, clean out the pickle bottles: He had known that this was his job, but he was beginning to think more and more about his bike. The next time he came back (French toast and sausage at 4 in the afternoon!?!) he asked “Señora Choi, por favor, please I can fixing my bike?”
“It no look broken,” she observed, “what you need fix?”
“I need tighten this,” he said, squeezing the calipers of his brakes to the wheel’s rim and pantomiming crashing because he couldn’t stop. “Gears no work” he said spinning one leg as though he were unable to shift out of first gear, with a mock pant or two to show the energy that swirling your legs ridiculously costs. Running around to the back he pointed out a bubble on the sidewall of the balding knobby tires meant to shred down ski-slopes: “soon pop -late food or late come back.”
Dubiously, “OK, you fix, but flatten boxes and refill fryer when done.”
In this way Kiko spent more time out in front of the shop working on the bike, and he began to understand why the bike she had bought him wasn’t very good. As he tightened up all of the nuts on the bolts that he could squeeze the Vice Grips around he saw how weak the metal was on all of these parts. The tool left marks on each piece it touched and close inspection by anyone who “knew” bikes would have shown an outbreak of the viral acne of Vice Grips. Kiko felt like his uñas –fingernails– would be able to leave marks in most of the fasteners that held the department store bike together.