have much of an option and the rent has to be paid. I like it mostly because I have to dress up for it. We wear cute tiny dresses, heels and a whole lot of make up. And yes it's done proffesionally. Like might actually be the wrong word. Let's replace it with love, for now.
"It must be something else" I say with a straight face.
"Yes , it definitely is" she agrees.
Her name is caro, she is just 22, pretty ambitious, I can tell from the tone of her voice. I can't take my gaze off her, because I cannot afford to miss any body language. I have to watch every twitch, every blink and every wrinkle. No we aren't friends, I just moved here and she has been the most welcoming. Tonight we are supposed to be watching a movie, but I guess we are in therapy now.
''I was born in the wrong generation'' she says.
Wrong continent, wrong body, wrong everything! I shouldn't be here, atleast not now. I always put my best foot forward but nothing's working, something has to come up, bad timing, bad weather, a pandemic, you name it!
At this point, If I had a notebook, I would have scribbled the word 'bitter' or 'angry' you know... like they do it in the movies.
"The universe is fighting me, there is this force that is always pushing when I am pulling. They were wrong when they said every dog has it's day, because I have never seen mine"
"Maybe it's because you are not a dog" I retaliate...
"You are probably a lion, or a chicken or a snail...you can never be too sure."
She smiles at me wearily, readjusts her shawl, repositions herself and stares into space. She goes on,
Today, I met a forty year old man with like 2 teeth. He didn't compliment my lips as all of them usually do. He asked for a tot, and went on and on about his mother and how he needs to get rid of the smell of alcohol before he goes home. I was tempted to ask what happened to the rest of teeth, but I could tell from the dents on his face that he is a drunkard hence there is not much to the story. A 40 year old man who still lives with his mother, weird!
You would think that that should make me slow down, relax, take life a step at a time but it doesn't, instead it makes me think, I don't wanna be like him."
"What else do you like about it?'' I ask, trying to sound as professional as possible.
" I can drink on the job, get a little tipsy, flirt with customers , tell girls how well done their hair is and also gasp at the colour of their nail polish. You know...being nice to strangers, after all that's what jesus would want me to do."
"Well it's not really a downside it's more of what I signed up for... Everynight I come home tired, from standing in heels for hours and hours, drunk from entertaining strangers. I can cook or not depending on my energy, mostly not. I almost started a fire the other day...I slept and left my gas running, my pan started melting. I could have died. It would have been a sad death."
At this point, I am listening intently, she doesn't move an inch, she remembers everything, every tiny little detail...I want to hold her hand, or say something nice, but that's not my style...I prefer silence.
"Why don't you quit? I probe, You don't seem so happy with it."
You see , I meet new people on the daily, they tell me about their wins, their woes,their highs their lows. I think listening to people gives you a different view. Men talk about their wives mostly. God! they even walk with polaroids of their families in their wallets. Women talk about their friends and their exes, or the newest accesories in town. I should want to stay, but this is not reason enough to stay, I cannot leave because I have convinced myself that I can't find something better to do.
She actually knows where the problem is...
Why are we having this talk again?
Was it necessary?
Can we go back to the movie?
It's 1:00 a.m for pete's sake!
" It's not just the convincing, she says,
it's the possibility of the fact that I could be stuck waiting tables in a bar for the rest of my life. The country, the system, the timing and even the economy is never on my side. Like is actually the wrong word, I despise my job!"
She drifts off to sleep and as I switch of the T.V I can't stop thinking...
Atleast you have a job! I can't even secure myself one!