Like a Boss

 At some point in your life you are going to end up standing at the stove, eating noodles from a pot or skillet, and mulling over how acceptable this is on a human behavior scale. It’s almost inevitable. You say, well I’m just going to taste this dinner I made, and then 7 to 10 bites later, you are still eating and the skillet is almost empty, and oh, what the hey, might as well not mess up another dish…I live alone…let’s just go ahead and finish dinner this way. Maybe you pretend that you’ve borrowed a giant’s dining ware and decide to eat the whole meal with an overly large spoon to really cap off the effect. Don’t judge me. I’ve had a long day.

Boss lady came today and I can’t really complain much. (Wouldn’t do any good anyway, says the cynic) She bought me lunch and two drinks and two packs of gummies and brought me a “Season’s Greetings” goody bag for Pete’s sake. She spent the whole day pointing out ways I could make my cafe better, encouraging me to do things to bring in business and make things run smoothly, and even poked fun at the customers acting all kinds of crazy at the tables around us. She even told me I can wear a Santa hat or headband to work for the next two months. I mean…it was a work day and all, but it wasn’t one of the worst, not by a long shot.

Before her visit, I was greeted at the breakroom by my store manager. He was hunched over in pain and said he was going to the emergency room. He also said, “You’re in charge” before he shuffled out. I’m not like power hungry or anything, but I was kinda enjoying being the big big boss for 30 minutes before the assistant store manager came in. I was training another barista, and I didn’t have keys to open the gate to the mall, but I was “promoted” for that short period of time and I think I handled the level of responsibility well.

Before my boss lady arrived, I received a text from Lanks. He got up early to say: “Hey, I know you have that meeting with that person, but try to have a day regardless.” It melted all the nervous and irritation I was feeling. I couldn’t really be worried about whatever was going to be thrown at me, because I had a very tall person in my corner of the ring and he just does good things so casually that I can’t be bitter about any of it. It’s not really a “sweet” text per se that he sent, but it’s pretty gooey for a guy who doesn’t emote. It made me happy. That’s all I’m saying.

Well into my visit, I had a particular type of customer come in. The constant complainer is how I categorize them. This crotchety old guy come up and tell me he was not going to buy a cup a coffee from me because he’s been a customer for 20 years and now our Internet is the slowest in town. Not even taking into consideration that I have nothing to do with the Internet speed or his computer, I told him I wasn’t exactly “computer savvy” but I’d try and help him if I could. He said that he actually was a computer guru but no one seemed to care about his problems and he was going somewhere else..after 20 years. I’m not even sure our company has been around for 20 years. He sat around in the cafe for another hour or so, and made faces at all the squalling children who came through today. I have a feeling I’ve yet to see the last of him.

I also saw Blue today. He came into the cafe again and with his laptop, headphones and “writing face” all ready to go. He brought along a woman who looked to be his girlfriend as well. Ah, guess that’s how it goes. And I’m too classy for man-stealing so I think this shuts the book on Blue. Fun flirtation over. I’m really too fond of my cardigan wearing, sass mouthed, raven-haired, comedian anyway.  

I really want to write more about something interesting, but today blurred by and was slightly grey as it went by anyway. So, instead, I guess I’ll pull out a couple of vignettes and call this very long day…a day that was very long. This first one is so appropriate for its intended addressee because he just admitted to me he was off today and didn’t want to tell me because I had this visit from the boss. That just all kinds of confuses me. Am I supposed to be upset he didn’t tell me it was his off day? (I’m not) Would I have done something differently with today had I known he was off? (I don’t think so) Our off days haven’t co-aligned in weeks and I’m pretty sure I just won’t hang out with him again until after the holidays because of our similar retail chains. I can’t really say what his thinking on this one is all about, but I like these moments he communicates with me on the level, even when it’s not on the level. And therefore…

Nostalgia: You Slay Me

In the best possible way, you drive me up a wall. I’m terrified at how crazy you make me. How everything I do requires spell check and double-proofing. How I want you so desperately, and have absolutely no idea what to do once you’re had. Challenge? You’re a fucking odyssey in outer space. But every little concession you allow me makes me so happy. I tell myself, with practice, we can rule the world.

(Pardon) What the fuck is this? We go on day dates to arcades. We travel to Atlanta to different worlds. We talk everyday. Don’t see each other for weeks. Am I so starved for intellectual stimulus that your wit is enough to slay me on my best day? (Yes)

But, brother, you’re a poet. Your words stoke some fire inside me to burn holes in my anatomy. I’ve never had a writer. Always wanted one, just didn’t realize that until now. Your power over words inspires my own. I can’t stop analyzing, can’t stop writing about a bad little boy who I’ve found is no longer bad nor little.

He sells himself short, and self-deprecates. I’d like to show him that he’s worth the world, but right now I’m just another girl. I don’t want to flatter too heavily. It could burst the dream bubble and throw open the paddock, a clear view of pasture and open air, send you running from me. (9/17/13)

(and also here’s this vignette below. I wrote it and I like it…the end)

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18 Nostalgia: Tennessee Says  

        Tennessee says, “It’s all about spending every moment on this Earth, clutching at whatever comes near you with both hands until your fingers are broken.” More or less, this is what Tennessee says. Tennessee knew heartache, and debauchery and drink.

Women with loose lips, men who were whores. Sitting on a porch in a balmy Southern summer, Tennessee said, I”m putting this to pen, and you are gonna know exactly what I’m trying to say.

Oh Tenn, there’s truth there. There can be truth there between men and women. Wading through the myriad sordid emotions that we cling to, we can reach understanding. That things aren’t going to be OK, but we can keep living, existing, searching for something we may never be able to appreciate.

That porch screen door keeps slapping in the breeze, and desire is trapped somewhere in the tapestry of the sun setting somewhere in the South.  

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Ok. Last note. Funny dream. I dreamed Lanks and I were in high school together and we were “going steady” or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Lanks had been sick for a couple of days and instead of handing in a sick note to the teacher, he instead handed her a solution of boric acid he had made and poured into a small beaker filled with chocolate. This too was an acceptable excuse for being sick. And somehow, like this crazy life and these crazy feels we get in it, it made sense.

-Anna R. Kotopple

 

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