Things are looking up here at Union. It’s a good thing, too, because I don’t think they could have gotten any worse. But a good team is taking shape to finish the place. Two young guys are doing the rest of the plumbing, and a high-energy, two-man contracting team will finish the drywalling and all the rest. They are the types of guys who make their lunch the night before so they can plow through the day. My cousin Willy referred me to them. They came from a good source, they have experience in restaurants, and they happened to have time between jobs. I also have a master electrician working at the place, a funny French dude who K.K. introduced to me as “the best.” He has a ton of experience and is fair. And to top it off, the windows are finally coming in—energy efficient and all that—so things should get a bit warmer and brighter at Union soon. So just maybe I can stop climbing walls and pacing and generally causing more harm than good. Anxiety blows. It clogs your head, makes you restless and wakes you up in the middle of the night for no reason. So with fingers crossed and an eye on the finish line, I am going to get back to cooking and focusing on getting things in place for opening night.
I am getting pretty anxious about that, too, because the last opening night I lived through, I stabbed myself in the arm. That was in Paris, and I was trying to open a Perrier bottle with my chef’s knife but missed the top and stabbed myself in the bicep. I almost fainted, too, until one of the builders gave me a sugar pack to keep me from going down. The doctor thought I had been in a fight. He stitched me up without an anaesthetic to teach me a lesson because, as he put it, “Who stabs themselves in the arm?” My French was not good enough to tell him otherwise.