"Passion isn't just a fruit. It's a poised rattlesnake you willingly domesticate—building a tolerance to the heart-stopping venom with every mishandle. Passion is the air around your skin holding you in place so you don't evaporate."
-Limitations to a Donut, Max French
"From my table, I lace / Spoon over and bisecting my fork, knife parallel to spoon on a soiled plate / Balance was always the goal /and cleanliness / Rules to service but not character"
-Sharp Knives, Lauren E.H. Rapp
In 86.8, we’re spilling it all. Featuring the service industry’s finest lessons on cultural alienation, earning your keep, owning shirt-stains, peeling back layers, blowing off steam, singing the praises of nachos, laughter through absurdity, diner dispatches, secret milks, the impulse to disappear, moments of inevitability, poisons, antidotes, lotus-drinkers, all of the rules and how to break them.
Featuring a glance into Marco Saavedra’s restaurant La Morada with an interview by Zach Whitman and photographs by Salvador Espinoza, whose work graces our cover this edition.
Our reading and watching recommendations for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Sweetbitter, The Bear, and more. A word from associate editor Kate Meadows on the art of balancing server trays and balancing life.
And, of course, the return of Nik le Sante & Mike Ferrin’s recurring comic Space Bar (read about them on Welp!)
Here you’ll find missives and mumblings from behind the sandwich counter—our latest spin on what it means to be an artist who serves. Pick up number eight in print or digital, or never miss an issue with an 86 subscription.
Cover: Salvador Espinoza
Poetry: Andreea Ceplinschi, Emma Clark, Natalie Harrell, Andrew Jones, Stephanie Powell, Lauren Rapp, Fred Shaw
Visual Art: Mark Allen, Phillip Barcio, Alex Bauman, G.J. Gillespie, Peter Harris, Moriah Smith, Joy Miss Ulrich, Cassidy Waters, Hali Williams