Jose prepared for the holiday at Juan Carlos’s coffee cart this morning.
“A large with cream and lots of sugar,” he said. “I’m gonna need all the help I can get.”
“You don’t have a restful holiday planned?” someone shot.
Jose works all the time just like the rest of the neighborhood. In the summer he deals tickets and sells Yankee merchandise on River Avenue. During the winter he delivers piazzas and sandwiches and loaves of garlic bread and orders of french fries and mozzarella sticks all over the South Bronx.
“The joint has got special hours planned,” Jose explained. “We’re open all day and all night and all day tomorrow, too.
“I’ll be on the bicycle and running up and down stairs,” he continued. “After awhile, delivering a large piazza to a fifth-floor walkup will feel like carrying a bus up Everest.”
The summer is better.
“That’s when people come to me,” Jose said. “If you need good seats so close to the field that you scare Derek Jeter, I’ve got ‘em. And if you need a Yankee T-shirt or a hat or whatever, I’ve got that, too.”
He’ll just have sore feet tomorrow.
“But I’ll be that much closer to Opening Day,” Jose said. “And that’s a holiday I don’t mind working.”