Multi-tasking is exceptionally difficult when one is pushed to commit the same intensity of eye contact to each person they meet
A covertly placed, consensual hand cushioned by the inside of my asscrack in the midst of a long shift is all the push I need to keep going.
Talking about how we’re all going to die is a cool expression to bring up at parties around a lot of new people because it shows that you are subtly nihilist and thus clearly esoteric. But, I don’t think that we’re all going to die. I don’t think about death at all; what I do think about is convincing people that I’m intelligent.
Standing at work, in a new job, amongst people that I do not know, and am not trying to know, but am trying to pass eight hours of on your feet tray carrying and inauthentic stranger smiling requires a certain level of initial awareness. An awareness of how to get people to be on your side. Hesitancy needs to be shifted into consonants/vowels crunching and mashing with the intention of allowing people to like me. Because all I want is for people to like me. To like me a lot, to like what I say and why I said it at that time and how it was said.
I want people to like me.
Since I’m both first generation American with a deep ‘old poor’ lineage there is no conceivable way that anyone throughout my heritage could have owned slaves- which is neat.
“Where are you from in France” I ask my coworker. “Lyon” she tells me. I know where that is. My cousin lives there. I tell her that and I watch her turn warmer. A woman breastfeeding a baby that is pinker than she raises her wrist. “The check?” Sauntering off, moving towards the front of the restaurant, I watch my first conquest’s orange hair grow stringier and smaller.
I expected that to go well and it went fine.
I have had the same piece of Turkish flatbread underneath my tongue for ~three minutes with the naïve expectation that it will disintegrate into easily swallowed particles. I try to mask my carbohydrate goiter with a cheerful demeanor. “Do you want to start off with anything to drink?” They’re responding and I’m nodding.
It would be nice to end this shift with a bevy of messages from a variety of platforms. I like being logged in.
I walk outside to retrieve glasses that have been collecting themselves in congealed rows, sticky with boozy residue. When some customers talk, they sound like sewage. A turnip faced nothing man directs “Oi cheeky” at me. I hate both of those words but he can’t know that. Moments after inexplicit sexual winds have perpetually lulled me into thick stale breaths. But I persevere, the bands attached to my underwear becoming looser and looser.
My balance is the most keen when I am toeing the line between vulgarity and charm. The connection tying weight loss and affable ineptitude is something I’m having difficulty shaking.
Condensation on a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc reflected a fleet of thin women back to me. One of them decrees that “leggings are a gateway drug”. I feel ill, instantly. Lucidity is still hours away, but I find pubescent solace in the freedom of a row of hard nipples, hinged to nothing but the sharpness of a September wind. I never find myself bored of myself, my narcissism remains reliable.
Slyly I think my adolescent argument of “I didn’t choose to be born in this family” is still valid. Not that I don’t love my parents but I did grow inside of my mother and then come out of her vagina and I am partially a product of my dad’s testicles and after such gesticulation I don’t think frankness should be minced.
A chubby man enters my periphery, with a smaller female shadow lingering around his knees. He bends at the waist in order to hear his daughter more clearly, his thick Mediterranean accent blending into the patches of her plum fuzz. They love each other, for now. Soon, double-digit birthdays will inevitably rear hideousness out of their stomachs so vile that no amount of pumping substance will be able to quench the subsiding bile. ‘Clara’ I hear from my manager’s mouth, my name heavy in lacquered Scouse tones. I turn to address his disassociated mug, still groggy from whomever he felt so obliged to do until sunrise. His beckoning arose a Pavlovian response under my suddenly moist tongue. Not only was he incontestably sexy but also gauging from the position of the sun it was finally time to sit down to chow.
A psychic once told me that I was fussy. He’s right, but as I gnash on a pork chop, two front teeth still serrated from an accident I’ve been too uninvolved from to remediate, I think that maybe he is wrong.
My breasts feel exceptionally heavy this afternoon. My lower back feels the weight of thousands of days of strapping my baggage pert against my bones. My readjustments garner gazes from both unsuitable trolls and bodies who, without indulging their full potential, are cute when I squint. Sitting next to people whose invested interests in this space transcend the banality of a paycheck gives me anxiety.
Essentially, I am raw. But inessentially, I am bored. One without the other is indulgence, pander that is numb to premeditated stimuli. Nothing more to do than blink, observe clusters that have fallen under mammalian trees of grooming expectations and wait.
Clara Pluton is currently in the process of trekking west. She is couch surfing across the United States in order to reunite with a very important heartbroken friend and her heartbroken friend’s inbred cat Sake. In the meantime, one could find her sucking down hand rolled cigarettes with her right hand and looking up Jim Jarmusch’s zodiac sign with her left.