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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Would You Just... Refill the Ice Well?

Just in from work. Jostling graphite clouds and jagged rain slowing to a gentle drizzle as I soft-squelch through puddles, mulched blossom piled by the curbs, patter on my hood, look up at curtained windows glowing golden in the dark -- who inside? What armchair lives being spent? Wine-stained rugs, crumpled Radio Times, murmuring of voices, turned-down television as one then the other takes themselves off to bed. Oh, heart. Oh tumbling lilac world. What we doing here? What's it all mean?

Had a good shift tonight. Still feeling awkward and clunky and broken when got to work, but grafted it away, something I love about the simplicity of bar work for these states, can throw myself into it, into keeping the bar clean, topping up the fruit, organising coffee area, sugar sachets in mugs by machine for ease of access, cardboard out of bottle bin, rearrange rocks glasses -- no one ever gets these right --, crush ice, make everything as elegant as possible -- Immediately as customers flock in starts going to shit, of course, have to fight to keep under control, keep systems flowing. Amazing how much there is in even the least appreciated jobs to think about if you pay real attention, if you care. Something noble as well. Not to say I am noble. As often as not I'll be fighting boredom, losing, counting minutes, letting shift pass on autopilot, moaning about rude customers, craving escape of finish. But there is a nobility in there somewhere, a Platonic ideal towards which one can strive.

So but I threw myself into work, did my best at passing the time elegantly, and of course serving every customer attempting to keep some humanity in the interaction, to treat each one as if I hadn't done this a thousand times already today, as if they weren't simply a number, simply another tenner in the till, but a breathing, hoping, aching creature to be truly seen and heard and appreciated in the moment, doing this in thirty seconds, then moving on, then moving on, then moving on. I mean, I dunno I ever do this. It is not easy to do. But losing the ability to try for that is way to darkness.

And you know what? the shift passed nicely. There was the obnoxious guy ordering while on his phone barely looking at me pointing vaguely at one of ten beer taps, nodding when I tapped Erdinger, pint of this, sir? Then on his phone yacking away, I pour the pint and still in his conversation he points at the tap next to Erdinger, I wanted that one, goes back to his conversation, Christ, mate, you are a twat; I huff silently and do his replacement and walk off. And of course there were the many moments of numbing tedium, not gonna check time, no go on I will, four hours left, OK, let that frustration just pass, nothing to do, I am here, God I want to be finished, no, let it go, put away a tray of glasses, refill the ice well, carry on -- as in any working person's working day. But then again so many jokes with staff, hugs, decent customers, cups of tea, chatting, easy time easy spent, and now home listening to Mariza soaring and wilting on Spotify, gentle gift of life greatly passing, why hold to pain? All comes to nought anyway. Let it go. Don't progress anywhere from here. This is it. Watch it. Yearn it. And let it go.

Off to bed now. Another long day tomorrow. Loves x

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