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Posts Tagged ‘restaurant work’

Here we are, lining up a long counter neath a ceiling of brushed metal

and naked charcoal forms towering pendulous breasts behind us

three big bare vulvas. true nudity? falsity? disease.

mostly-empty liquor bottles decorate the bar.

It’s weird how relatively-at-home I feel in this situation. I look around and count something like 12 heads of blonde. 2 here are older than thirty. and isn’t it interesting that the new staff for this opening cafe is composed of thin attractive females – floor managers and head chefs all male. I’m wondering when they’ll bring up the fact that my legs are covered hairy. No way am I shaving some seven months of hard working growth.

Already I am sensing the double-life I’ll have to lead. That I kept right in Boston, the sensible restaurant waitress with acceptable furs and cockle-shell smiling. Suppress, you dirty hippie! Down girl

but it’s like I choose and want this,

i see the monetary value of     [[[Town}

‘and I accept it, for such small tradeoff.

I’m cool with acting for cash. I’ve always loved filling roles, as long as I can melt back into myself for a good amount of my week beyond. I m cool with feeding people. Even if what they order is sure to kill them,

i’m all about the choice, afters. and no’m not going to play any withhold.’

I’m even cool with the pretense required for now.

the meat sits postulating on a plate,

all full of christmas colors gunk and waiting for a chew. broiled, brazen, bar-be-(Q)cued. spitting its rare juices onto white plaster and soaking towards a mashed potato bloom

creamy heavy and desirous.           tempting and bleeding       gums. pick them teeths!

I notice Gretchen. a woman with my favorite name and a plain suffocated body that might’ve held muscle once

she shines out past red shorts and some striped frock that covers her like it would be silk

it’s a poor piece her gentling mottle skin makes look expensive in terms of light.

I notice I like Gretchen. i like the small folds of her stripes and how her freckles caress it like it might be soft to wear.

—  she never planned to be a “professional server”  . in her late twenties or elsewise ever. Girl went to school for journalism,

got a double degree in fact.

I’m knowing now, I’ve got to take what might be lurking there. Finding what I like and going

not gonna be a professional server. And yeah, I’m going the yoga thing.

What a beautiful, natural, bursting the seams woman.

it’s cool, I’ll find that right direction whenwhatever and knowing taking breathing what comes.

[hey yona

i’m scared to write

but maybe you’ll look           ]

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The Big Five: Current top overarching concerns of my life.

The stillness of this starless city as I'm walking home at night.

The stillness of this starless city as I'm walking home at night.

1 work.

– I hated to place this at number one, but seeing as I’m working 5-6 days a week, it’s difficult to avoid. My dreams at night are about work. I’ve been promoted to “Bartender,” which means I sling fresh juices, smoothies, espresso drinks, etc, for the whole approx. 93-seat restaurant. I gotta say, I do love steaming and foaming milk. I’m decent at the position but it doesn’t especially suit me. I’ve been struggling with unhappiness at work as of late. When I’m on bar, I don’t feel like socializing with customers or coworkers because I have so many tasks to complete and I’m still getting used to things. Other people just tend to get in the way. Today marks the first day I have off after 8 days straight of working; it’s no wonder I’m feeling burnt out. For the most part, I love my job and I feel blessed to be working at a place like Trident. But I cannot WAIT to sit down in a car with Melanie and drive 1900 miles after next week. And spend a couple of days with my mommy on the way!!

2 my own little life.

– Unsure what to title this piece of the Big Five. My first try was “isolation,” but it’s more than that. Truth, I have isolated myself from many of my friends over the past couple of months. This summer was a very social time for me, however it was social in that I attracted and gave attentions to new people, people I wasn’t necessarily planning to commit to in any way. This behavior seems to at last be waning a bit, but I am not returning to old and good friends. I am finding that these days, my energies like to be spent inside my own little life. Practicing, learning, caring for myself, and sort of reforming. The people I love have been gently moved towards the periphery. I struggle with this because I haven’t done it before. The people in my life have always played a major role and garnered much of my attentions. I don’t feel any less care towards them than usual, I just don’t need them omnipresent right now. I wonder how the changing of seasons affects these behaviors..

3 spirituality and self-healing.

– To go along with my little life and the elimination of social distraction, my interest in my own spirituality is prickling. I had a minor surgery a month ago and the incision has refused to heal. My body rebels against antibiotics. I decided recently, then, that I was just going to heal myself.

– Yona’s serenity and calmness in all of his calamity is fascinating and enviable. I will achieve it.

– Realizing how spiritual I am as a person, automatically. Living simply. Avoiding excess. Remembering the goal of long-term happiness. Reminding myself that I am safe. Having gratitude and cheer. Seeing (looking, knowing).

4 my body.

– Letting myself come back into it. Paying attention and giving, caring for it.

5 transitioning.

– Place to place and life to life.

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[Scene] Virginia, in uniform. All black polo shirt and dress pants, hair harnessed up in a ponytail like an afterthought. It’s eight-o-clock in Massachusetts morning and she’s readying the outdoor section of the restaurant she works at. Nine metal tables go out on the patio, accompanied by nineteen metal chairs, to be followed by nine sets of sugar caddies (a rainbow of yellow Splenda, blue Equal, pink Sweet-N-Lo, white sugar, and brown Raw Sugar in each), nine pairs of salt and pepper shakers, and a silverware-napkin roll-up per chair. She’s moving slightly slower than usual this morning. Just warming up, mirroring the day.

The tables can be found in a hallway, stacked on top of one another. Not heavy, but slightly precarious, she takes them down, carries them approximately ten feet, and lands them in their home for the day. Five tables and eleven chairs properly placed. She enters the patio carrying the sixth of nine tables. As she lowers this table onto its place, a man is walking by outside the patio. He gives his best stranger grin to the girl and says giddily:

“Shouldn’t a man be doing that?”

A wink.

Dumbfounded and still fuzzybrained with morning, Virginia sputters for a minute and says softly but clearly:

“No.”

The grin grows quick and steadily. If he’d winked again it surely would have been deeper a wink than the last. She might have been surprised if his entire eye didn’t collapse in upon itself.

Loudly, with a faux-air of being impressed:

“Strong, strong!!”

He whips away with his briefcase and muted-colored button-down shirt off quick as he came towards his stagnant deskjob and she snarls under her breath.

“Fucking barfy boring-shirted idiot.” Why should a man do it when I am perfectly capable. I do this on so many mornings. And furthermore, why was that statement made in such a manner? The man was very clearly using flirtatious techniques. A playful tone of voice, playful facial expressions, winks. He tossed around his short statements as if he were commenting on universal facts we both, we all, knew to be true. Number one: girls are weak. Number two: men are strong. Number three: girls are not as capable as men in terms of lifting heavy and/or precarious objects. Number four: girls, or at least me as a girl, would really prefer it if men just did all the physical labor, because it’s just such an inconvenience for us and we’re/I’m surely better at other things (like maybe sewing).

That’s just the way it is, we all know that and I’m going to joke about it with you because obviously we’ll understand one another and be on the same page.

Heavens, he didn’t mean any harm by it.

Except that everything involved in that exchange was about hierarchy in terms of his power over me. I can do nothing but agree with his statement that a man should clearly be carrying these chairs – my response [“No,” a man shouldn’t be carrying these chairs] was glossed over with sarcasm and ignored as if I hadn’t said anything at all. And by his rules (which are really a reflection of our greater society’s rules), I should both expect and be grateful for his flirtatious advances. Why does he feel it acceptable to wink at me? I do not know this man. Why does a strange man wink at a woman he has never met or seen before? Does he expect her to enjoy it? Grow, learn, or gain from it? This strange man’s wink does not make me feel worthy. His wink does not make me feel sexy or beautiful or smart or whole or empowered. Just the opposite, his wink is very clearly demoting me to the position of someone who can do nothing but accept this advance. Crucially: his wink does not make me feel like an individual. His wink (especially when combined with his patronizing statements) places me in the role of girl. Female. His wink recreates me as an object or idea rather than the whole woman I am with a soul, brains, interests, talents, personality, family, past, et cetera. Very clearly the picture emerges. He is a man, I am a woman, I am lesser and will submit.

Virginia, brain now warm, uses her untiring strength to place the last three tables where they belong. She deftly sets them – sugars, saltpeppers, silver – and waits wearing black in the emerging morning for her first customers to arrive.

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