Finishing up dinner at Chewonki when it’s dish crew three’s night is the most exciting part of my week. Maybe I just finished my eggplant parm or a huge salad filled with chickpeas, tomato, and lettuce, but I am full and energized. I bus my tables, plates and bowls to the dish shelf and put my hair up in anticipation of my upcoming mission. I proceed to take off my removable wrist accessories and put on an apron. It is warm in the dish room due to Hobart’s radiation of heat, just warm enough to not let the night’s cool breeze get through. I start to organize myself and get the dishes in the right order as people stack their sticky plates and butter-coated knives into the large trays. We use these trays every day. They range from worn-out blues to pink as well as yellows and greens, reminding me of easter eggs. It helps the sticky food bits look a little more tolerable.
The time is approaching as my dish crew and I organize ourselves but there is one last crucial decision we have to make. What playlist will best encapsulate tonight’s vibes? Will it be a combination of every song in Pitch Perfect? Musical medley? 2000s party? This decision is vital to the success of the dish crew three. After a bit of debate we land on 2000s party music, a reliable stand by, and we get to cleaning.
We are a well-organized machine and no one can stop us when we are on a roll. As I quickly place pots and pans, plates, cups, and other mucilaginous kitchen items into trays my five other crew members are all being quick and efficient. As we do this job we belt out TikTok by Kesha, sweetly sing Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are, and dance during all of it. Slowly we chip away at the iceberg that is the dishes from tonight’s dinner but no one really notices the magnitude of the mountain of dishes in front of us. As we approach the end of the mass of dishes we have cleaned we still have a couple of jobs that need accomplishing. My other team members begin to fill the mop bucket and spray down nearby surfaces. As they mop the floors with grace I finish up my task of organizing the dishes. The next step is my favorite part of the night: cleaning the dishes counter. With a bottle of bright blue dish soap, I pour it everywhere I can see needs a scrubbin’. I then take my companion’s sprayer that is attached to the sink and spray down the surface that I have drenched in soap. Suds appear as the harsh pressure of water hits the soap and the metal surface looks new. There is no proper way to explain to you what this sensation feels like, all I can say is that it is truly therapeutic.
As my crew and I scurry around to finish up the final touches on the dish room we are still singing and dancing but are ready to continue with our evening. As we put the mops and brooms away, dirty rags in the dirty laundry basket, and disconnect the playlist from the speaker we are pleased with our performance. Our spirits are high as we grin and talk as we put our bracelets back on and release our hair from the tight restraints of hair ties.
Though the task of doing dishes is just an everyday task that most people don’t “love”, dish crew at Chewonki is unreasonably fun. I know when I go home, I will forever compare it to semester 69s dish crew three and the friends I made because of it.
Shout out to dish crew three!! Love you guys.
Grace Korsh, Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY