I was there at the long table, across from you and down at the far end, ducking in when everyone had started, nodding when my neighbor gestured at the pickles, bowing my head in thanks when they passed them over, assembling my bowl in silence, appearing to take no notice of the conversation around me or at least having nothing to contribute. At this hour I was more present, say seventy percent opacity — I tend to be more vital in the evenings — and of course I was wearing the clothes I favor for kitchen duty, a waffleknit henley over a disintegrating t-shirt, a canvas skirt that has seen better days. My upper body is well developed and I keep my head shaved, and between the close-fitting henley and that hunted look on my face you would think I’d stand out, but again, it is the ambient quality of my movements that allows me to fade into the background. Once I have provisioned my bowl I enter a loop—I have long since stopped keeping track, but let’s say a minute, ninety seconds, never longer than a hundred ten — the food I consume in that time reappearing in the bowl when the cycle resets, and this continues until the meal begins to wind down, at which point I rise, my bowl empty, nodding at my neighbors and whoever is sitting opposite me, returning to the kitchen to take up my station at the dishwashing sink, where I enter a new loop, food debris reappearing on the dishes when the sequence restarts, continuing in my efforts until my colleagues are nearly done wiping down the counters and table, returning the condiments to the walk-in, sweeping the area around the table and returning the chairs to the floor, having set them, sitting surface down, on the table to facilitate sweeping. When I have been at the dishes a plausible span of time I leave off and set them to dry. I dry my hands, toss the dishtowel in the laundry bin, dry them again on my skirt, and return to my room, nodding goodnight at the others who’ve been on kitchen, all of us going our separate ways. In my room I undress, returning the skirt and henley to the hooks where they live, and lie down in the dark, grateful for the heavy comforter.