This one’s dance protected the food.
With a red uniform shirt, black knee-length shorts, black neckerchief and cat’s eye glasses perched on yellow, coiffed hair, she danced.
This one’s dance was done standing on paper towels so as she scoot scoot scooted, she wiped the floor clean.
She did it to protect the food, the magical buffet of all you can eat sausages and schnitzel and things dappled in sour cream. It was a little spot where the staff looks at you and, with a glance, knows whether to talk in English or Polski.
The walls were the same color they had been for decades, a pleasant tan-brown with wood panel that might actually be wood. The booths lining the walls and the tables scattered through the main room were comfortable and restaurant standard.
Families filled the tables. A little girl ran up to the buffet to get seconds on vanilla and chocolate pudding, which she kept perfectly separate on her plate. A young woman showed her grandmother pictures off a phone, switching from English to Polish depending on which vocabulary had the right word for the moment.
There was a bar shooting off the main room, stock dark paneling and mirrored backstop of booze. A few young men sat at the bar, eyes on the TV as they chatted. A breathtaking woman sat at a booth in the bar area with her husband. Their baby toddled around the bar, scooting butt across the floor to the coos of the staff as they walked by to restock warming trays of meaty Polish delights.
Two two gray-haired women at another booth reminisced and joked over vodka tonic after vodka tonic.
And the food, oh god the food.
Sausage, schnitzel, pierogi, apple pancakes, crepes, roast. A wall’s length of heavenly treats with an arrow painted on the wall to show where the buffet continues into the next room. Everything perfectly seasoned and hot, whipped away by staff in red shirts the moment it even teases at getting to room temperature.
This one’s dance protected it all.
She scoot scooted with paper towels on her feet to keep it clean, keep it sanitary and good. Butt out, knees bent, she wiped clean the floor for us all, for families and wandering babies, for old reminiscers and young couples starting lives together.
It was a simple moment, and a silly one. One of the older staffers chided the woman for her new method of wiping the floor.
“But she’s doing such a beautiful dance!” one of the vodka tonic women called to no one.