I worked a weathered Hobart Am9-T2.
Breathing the sweet breath of bleach
and chemicals, I lifted the arms and
extracted the trays of white plates,
angels with flowing hair and airy
gowns surrounding me for a moment. I
danced with flats of silverware. Single-mindedly, I scrubbed the rice pots with
steel wool, and I was always careful
to scoop the gel from the pu-pu platters
before I sent them into the machine.
I stood by its strumming warmth, 158
degrees exactly, touched its sides while
it ran cycles. I listened to it trip from
wash to rinse. Without fail a sense of
harmony swept over me. . . . That Hobart
never broke down, never failed any of
us. If I looked at it long enough, I could
see my warped and distorted image in
the reflection on its flanks. I realized I
had inherited an imperfect life, a dish
boy in a city of decline.
FROM “HOBART DREAMS” BY DAVE ZOBY