Sunday, May 28, 2006

r.i.p. humberto "jose" mendez

I was all set to write a post about how the reason I haven't been posting much is that I'm just plain happy, and no one wants to read about someone who's just plain happy. And then I sat down for family meal and the meeting before work tonight, and the owner stood up and said, "I have something serious and tragic to tell you guys."

He told us that one of our backwaiters, Jose, was shot and killed in Brooklyn this morning. He was with his brother, Humberto, who just started working for us too. Tonight was slower than usual because of Memorial Day weekend which normally I'd whine about because it means less money, but tonight I whined about because it meant I had too much time to think. I didn't want to think.

Jose started just a couple months ago and he picked everything up so quickly. His face was perfect and handsome--completely symmetrical which I've learned from the Oprah Winfrey show is what makes people attractive. Every time I'd blow past him needing to get some waters for a table he felt like a brick wall. Dude was jacked. He was always smiling and happy and worked his fucking ass off and every time I needed something he'd have it in two seconds. He was also a world class flirt and would demand kisses on the cheek when he'd helped us out, which I was happy to give him. He was always impeccably dressed and wore a nice and not overpowering cologne. He came out and drank beers with us last week to celebrate a fellow waiter's last day. Last night he was so happy because he'd just bought some new t-shirts and sneakers. He and some guy got in a fight over a girl outside of their Brooklyn apartment and the guy shot and killed him, while Humberto watched, at 11:30 a.m. this morning.

The first part of work tonight I just felt nauseated and hungry because I couldn't eat, and then Jose's brother Humberto, cousin Marco (a new backwaiter who just started), and other unkown female relatives came in to bring us pictures of him, and I nearly lost my shit. Every time I had to go to a table and ask "Hi! How are you guys doing tonight? Can I get you some water?" and they'd respond, "Great! Yes! How are you?" I'd for once have to lie and say, "I'm great! Is tap okay or would you prefer a bottle?" I had to fight so hard not to tell them the truth about how I was really doing tonight.

What is wrong with people such that anything, ANYTHING, is worth killing someone else for? I've never understood guys who get in physical fights, but a punch in the face, fine. A bullet through the heart, NO!


Jose, you rocked, and I'll miss you and your jokes, your smiles, and your diesel biceps.

1 comment:

midwestgrrl said...

I was in the city this weekend and I randomly saw that news on ny1. I'm sorry about your coworker.