When I walk in, the shop is silent. I put my purse down in the back, my breakfast and lunch in the cooler; grab an apron, and take my knife kit to the cutting board. I think about calling out to Tommy, but then think better of it. He’s probably in his office, enjoying the lull. I won’t bother him. In fact, the quiet is nice. He most certainly heard me come in—the guy has ears like a cat.
There was no car parked out back, so I assume that Grace dropped him off and then went to run her errands, which happens often. I do my usual routine: put away the clean(ish) dry dishes from the previous day; wash any dirty ones waiting in the sink; dump the cold water from the rag buckets and replace it with warm water, soap, and bleach. Both boards are a little dirty, and all the knives are as well, so I give them all a good scrubbing.
I check the case; it looks pretty full. The filets in there look like shit, so I can’t do any of those yet. If I put any of mine in there, the old ones won’t get bought, and they need to get sold first since they’ve been sitting there since yesterday. Pretty sure I still need to cut some for gift boxes though, let me check. . . . In the freezer I quickly find the box of individually wrapped six-ounce filets that I started and filled last week. I needed 72. I cut 72. The box now has 24. So that’s what I get started on.
There are some tenderloins already trimmed in the cooler; I’ll save those for when we get busy, or if someone asks for a filet with no bacon.
Soon, Kyle and John walk in.
“Just you today,” Kyle states rather than asks.
I cock my head to the side, indicating my confusion.
“Tommy’s in a black hole; he hasn’t been here all week.”
That’s why it’s so quiet.
It’s funny how they gave him off last Saturday specifically so that they could try and prevent him from going into a black hole during the holidays this year. I remember thinking that giving him a day off would only delay the inevitable.