I was not made to be a waitress. To carry plates and pull pints and count coins and be able to breathe at the same time. I should have given up. Four years in and my boss was still telling them that it was my first night, not to mention that time someone half-jokingly asked me, a completely sober seventeen year old with an anxiety disorder in a family owned bistro in white middle-class conservative Hexham, if I was drunk. I was not made for fake confidence and biting back tears, for toilet cubicle walls and breathe in, breathe out, all you had to do was carry the potatoes to table five. I was not made to be a waitress in the same way that I was not made to understand the art of mathematics. The times tables in their white linen shirts stained with my clumsiness laughing at me as I dropped plates and couldn’t subtract fifty four pence from five pounds seventy two at the till. I wasn’t made for sequence. For questions with definite answers, I was not made for having to be right. I was made for having to be wrong. Over and over, for ******* up a lime and soda, or was it lemon? Four years into a job. I was made for honesty. For answering you truthfully when you ask me what I am thinking. I was made for chocolate on the hob and strawberries tickled with sugar in hand, for the familiarity of the songs of a home friend’s band, I was made for softness. For your lips on my lips and my hands on your hips and the imprint of your freckles on my cheek. I was made for learning that this is not weak. For learning that I was made for me. For dancing badly and laughing loudly and eating messily. We, on the other hand, were not made for each other the way people appear to be on film, the megabus trips without air-conditioning and the seven inches and 165 miles that fall between us the ever persistent proof. I was not made for you, designed so that our lives would perfectly intertwine but what does it matter when in this moment I think I was made for this. For half-lit, half-fit bliss. For reading poetry to you at three am until you fall asleep, when all that is left is the hum of your breath as my voice echoes milk and honey, making me feel like I could be made for anything, even though we’re apart.
Sidenote: June ’17- this time there was only one 'first night' at my new job.
a work in progress