I spilled a pot of coffee all over this guy yesterday which is something I've literally never done in the 10+ years I've waited tables. It totally snapped me awake from the numb wallowing that I was doing with the day and slapped me in the face, like, hello, can you do this job you're doing right now? Bizarre to wake up on a sidewalk cafe on the street in Manhattan, weird kind of black out. He was such an angel about it. So nice.

I remember vividly the only other drink I spilled on someone while serving and it was an orange juice when I was 16 or 17 at the corporate chain restaurant I worked at in high school that basically shaped my entire workplace existence from that point forward. The juice didn't even get on anyone just the table that time. That place was really special. I still think about my first boss and what she would think or say about what was going on in a restaurant. That woman was a force. She could do literally every single job position in the restaurant and better than anyone else and knew exactly how to explain it. I think about her saying that she got to open one of the stores in Niagara falls and wonder where she is now. Being a teenager around all of those real people was so vital. Dennis and Mary, not a full mouth of teeth between them, who would sit from 6 pm to 6 am every single day drinking coffee and chain-smoking cigarettes, never really ordering any food, just chatting and smiling. Late this guy James would show up and join them, and he would always help us clean up at the end of the graveyard shift. Rocco would always show up around 3 after the bars let out, this trashy super-tan spikey gelled black hair suburban club kid who would always read me to filth about my outfit and hair. All those women with kids I was working alongside. Damn those girls.

If you asked me 10 years ago if I would still be waiting tables I would probably have told you yes. Wish I could recapture that sense of freedom and liberation that job gave me. Maybe it's still there somewhere. Get to clock in, clock out, pay my bills and do my own shit on the side. I should count my blessings. Remember my 16 year old self who was stashing wads and wads of cash all over his room because he didn't have a bank account, buying brand new sneakers and drive-through Sonic, paying for a used car in cash and just loving that independence from a family that, goddess love em, just didn't have any money to give. Yeah I can recapture that. Gotta keep doing a good job for Jody.

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