Morgan Arrives

My little brother, Morgan, came to live here the other day. He almost went to prison but instead they just charged him a hundred bucks. I thought it was some kind of marijuana charge but it seems like it was something to do with driving without a registration or something like that. I got him a job at the restaurant. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing but most of the people there don’t so why not.

He got here yesterday and I brought him home to drop off his stuff and then I brought him to work. I dropped him off. The bar manager was like, don’t you want to stay a while? Don’t you want to come back and hang out after his shift? I said no and then looked away. She kind of laughed. That was easy.

He’s a quiet kind of guy. I don’t really know him too well. 

What Happened Since Thursday

A subway train and an iPhone 7 billboard

It’s Sunday. Somehow we got here again. Halfway through the week I didn’t think I would make it. Somewhere around Thursday I thought that was it for me. The girl I am obsessed with wouldn’t text me back fast enough. My wife wouldn’t text me back. I couldn’t focus on my job. Time was going so fast and weird.
Some cranes in New York CityI reached out to my nihilist friend who moved to France last year. He understood what I was going through, as best as anyone can over text messages. He sent me a video and a podcast and we talked about how annoying everything was.

I didn’t have time to listen to the podcast or watch the video. I went back into dinner service not sure how I was going to make it. I told a sympathetic coworker, who has been in a bad relationship for years, about my wife and I getting ready to have kids and how I thought I might be trapped working in restaurants forever.

I didn’t know how I was going to make it through dinner service. I ate some Altoids.

I decided to get a haircut the next day. My hair was crazy and I hadn’t slept much, so I figured that was probably the problem.

On the way home, the girl called me and we talked about nothing because her phone was broken and I couldn’t hear anything she was saying. She said she was going to get a flip phone. I said cool yeah that’s badass smartphones are for tools. She said something I couldn’t understand. I texted my friend who’s a barber now and made the appointment.

On the bus ride, I watched the video and my mind was blown. The guy basically taught a class why thinking people are nihilists these days and how that’s not much different than mental illness but it is just a little different. And a whole bunch of other stuff too. And that’s when I remembered that life really was suffering, which is such a relief to remember because when things aren’t going right I always think what did I do wrong? Of course, there are plenty of things that I’ve done wrong and continue to do wrong.

At the barbershop, we gossiped about people we both knew and how we couldn’t understand the things they did, and we laughed about that. We talked about how awesome we were, and my friend said I looked like Don Draper now that I’ve been working on this hair style for three months.

When I got home I decided to focus on bringing sexy back so I made my wife cookies and I pulled out my chest hairs one by one and I shaved and trimmed and did some pushups. Then I went to work and I didn’t text anyone and then I went home and went to sleep.

In the morning, I fucked my wife for the first time since she went off birth control. Then I walked to work and treated my customers like apparitions.

On my break, I told the girl I am obsessed with to meet me at a bar when she got finished working. She said she would so I sat in the bar drinking beer and listening to the podcast that my nihilist friend had sent me. The podcast was amazing, but as time went on, she didn’t appear, and I got sad.

Then I walked back to work and to my locker and there she was, getting ready to leave. She hadn’t come because she hadn’t gotten off work yet. I asked if she was eating at the restaurant before she left. She said yes. I said good.A tall streetlight in Brooklyn

I put my plate at one table and she put her plate on the table right next to it, instead of across from my plate so we ate together diagonally, so not really what I had in mind. She asked if anyone had made a will and my bar manager said she didn’t need a will since she had nothing of value, no family, and no partner. I said oh well there you go, easy. Then she seemed like she was about to cry. I said she had friends, but I didn’t know what else to say. I should have told her to remember that life is suffering.

When the girl that I’m obsessed with left, she texted me that she hadn’t seen me on the way out but that she hoped I had a good night.

I told her to have a good one, too, and then my bar manager handed me a pint of beer to chug because she had made a mistake and poured the wrong kind.

Later she gave me four ounces of vodka and people asked me where I was from. They said I had an accent.

Then it was midnight and it was time to go and I polished glasses while the chefs and cooks drank Modelos that a customer had bought them from the pharmacy across the street.

On my way out the door I checked out with the manager and she told me to get a pint container. She filled it with Jameson and told me to come out with them to the bar. A chef asked me three times if I was coming out. He told me that he had wished his ex-girlfriend happy birthday last night and they ended up fucking. He asked if I thought he had a problem. I said no I texted her happy birthday, too, what’s the big deal?

The other chef handed me a Modelo and I chugged it and went home. Last night I got home around 1:30 and chugged a quart of water, hoping that today could still be a productive day.

I woke up at 1:30 PM and went outside. It was too warm for the clothes I was wearing and I bought an iced coffee. Tonight I’m going out to eat with my wife, her sister, and my in-laws.A subway train and an iPhone 7 billboard

Watch Out for Pranks Today, Everyone Will Think Less of You If You Don’t See One Coming.

Some cars and a traffic light.

I’ll never let my kids work in restaurants

even though the maitre d’ said everyone should be required to work in restaurant or at least retail so they know how to act when they go out in the real world

fuck that better for my kids to carry on blithely without ever considering the emotional turmoil they’re putting people through

because they’ll have enough of their own without dealing with the possible pain of others

the kids will probably have brain damage or debilitating diseases in which case they’ll be damn lucky to work anywhere

and even if they were healthy they’d just rebel and go work in restaurants so I’ll just have to burn their restaurant down.

Some cars and a traffic light.

Sometimes I lie on the street.

 

Drunk again, holy shit I am drinking all of the time

I don’t want to write about it but I regret not writing about it before, as a kind of breadcrumb trail. Say, my writing is muffled and coarse and cliche, like my thoughts. The other day I said that people were oysters, that they need a grain of sand to make a pearl. I said that out loud to people. Woo! Shit. A motherfucker finds it hard to live out here. 

I find it easy to continue working, to hang out at work. I used to dread my double shifts, but now, I guess due to some meditation and my undying love for this coworker, that shit’s over before it began and I’m dreading my two days off. Can you believe that? Dreading my days off? No fuckin way. 

That and I stopped even looking for a way out of this restaurant shit, unbeknownst to my wife. Fuck it. Just stop trying. Nice not to have to fight this shit every step of the way.

I had feelings about the people I used to work with, so long ago, so long that now I forget, and they were strong feelings. Makes me wonder if I’d better not write amemoir  about this shit and my feelings now or else forget forever.  But you know, say I do forget, what am I going to remember by reading something I wrote.

A girl got fired today. That doesn’t usually happen. And she got fired for her attitude. Her name is a city in the southwest.

Man what a crazy fucking life it really is. I don’t even know how I’m going to sleep tonight, and it used to be that the only thing I wanted to do was sleep. I mean tonight was not an easy night, and me and the girl weren’t even working near each other. At one point in the night I had to force myself to stop trying to help her because it was becoming embarrassing. 

I skipped my break for a shot at the end of the night and I drank green chartreuse for the first time since Boston. Two ounces straight to the face after not eating for twelve hours put me in a good mood. Woo! Shit but that shit wore off quicker than I thought. And hell it almost gave me heartburn.

I realized I never gave up on feeling guilty for my sins. I tried not to feel guilty. My hair was so crazy and I didn’t shave. I started doing push-ups and sit-ups. I don’t know what to tell you. 

I’m not as obsessed as I was and I don’t think anything bad will happen. Bad meaning sexual. I told her all about my wife and how she is the only reason I’m not covered in my own piss begging for money at Broadway Lafayette. Then I realized that for sure I would just devote myself to her the way I do to my wife and I would be consumed and nothing ultimately would change except for the fact that I wouldn’t be deserving of anyone’s love at that point.

Almost home, so ending this drivel with nothing at all. 

I Was Going to Say Something, Then I Changed My Mind

There are so many things written about restaurant staff. A lot of things I read overplay one or two aspects of the job and are very confident that this happens in all restaurants. There are many kinds of restaurants. I don’t know where people get the bravado to generalize so conclusively.

I would like to write about waiting tables. Sometimes I think about it. There are a lot of good characters and situations. The situations are often a challenge to capture with words, however, that’s not the main reason I have so far refrained from trying. Writing about restaurants is a little like writing about a disaffected young man in that it’s already been done and overdone, sometimes successfully and sometimes poorly—mostly poorly.

I started to write a post about the restaurant where I work, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what servers are called in the King’s English, so I looked that up. That brought me to an article about restaurant staff and twenty-six things they know about you. And that article was very true about one kind of restaurant, or maybe even one restaurant, but it claimed to speak for all restaurants.

I don’t identify primarily as a restaurant employee, but it was annoying all the same.

And then I realized that I have to stop getting annoyed so easily and just try to have fun.

How I Feel After Reading the Works of Chris Guillebeau

I’m having a bit of a psychological debate with my psyche. Have you ever done this before? I have done this many times:

I get the idea that I should make progress toward a goal.

I go read some motivational shit online.

I get excited for ten minutes.

I spend three hours reading posts about how to do better in life.

I wonder why the fuck everyone seems to know everyone in this motivational blogging business.

I criticize myself for being cynical.

I fantasize about giving motivational talks about how I changed my life and became financially independent through writing.

I write a few paragraphs about my goals in life, but they’re really about what happened today.

I stop and say, “Shit! I spent all day reading about how to write myself to financial independence and all I’ve written is some shit about sitting on a bench in the park and anyway all of these fuckers know each other and suck each other’s dicks.”

Then I feel terrible again because they seem like nice people who are happy to know other nice people.

One time i attacked this guy with a blog post. I had zero followers and commented on no one’s posts. It wasn’t that I didn’t think anyone would see it, but I just didn’t give it much thought at all I guess. He was striving to inspire people with his life goal of being a dentist and how he was going to reach it and he was the president of his class or something and always had something positive to say. And I went on his website after one of these motivational blog reading benders and he was just this nobody with a thousand followers or something who was just doing his best to inspire people and create positive change in the world and I just couldn’t believe this mother fucker had any readership because to me the shit was lame and terribly written. And I was like fuck it, I’m going to make my name tearing these motherfuckers down. It’s what I do best.

So I wrote a post about how fucking stupid his site was and no one saw it. And then an hour later my blog had 30 views, which was 30 + infinity times more than my average readership and this guy responded to my post that his life coach or something had told him he would have haters and that’s how he knew he was doing the right thing or some shit. Well, I felt pretty bad because the poor bastard was obviously a good person and making a more positive impact on the world than I was or am and I still hated that mother fucker for making cliches even more cliche than they already are and now the mother fucker had seen me say that I hated his ass all over the internet for no good reason. Just found this mother fucker out of nowhere. I still remember his name, the bastard, he’s probably the head dentist at We Fix African Kids’ Problems Dot Org. God damn it.

But yeah I wish that mother fucker well, I really do. He deserves to be happy, that fuck, because he is a nice person. I knew he was a nice person even when I was trashing his work. When he commented on my shit I hit him back and asked him how to do some technical shit on my blog because I knew he couldn’t resist telling me. Mother fucker wasn’t even mad, I knew he wouldn’t be.

At the same time, I was impressed by how many hits I had accumulated in like five seconds. That shit was a big deal to me then, and truthfully that shit is a big fucking deal to me now. Fucking hell, I get three hits in a day and I’m dancing on ceilings. And that’s how Chris Guillebeau drew me into the god damn inspiring ass manifesto reading tornado this time. He was talking about not letting your up and down days (in the stats) affect your mood so much and how he can’t help doing it even though he tries not to. And he was saying his self worth is interlaced with how much shit he gets done and he doesn’t know if that’s the right way to do life but that’s how he works so fuck it. And I thought that shit was useful as hell so I read all of his shit and he was even talking about this lame ass phone game he was playing that he got addicted to and how he thought about making life like that video game. It was some Clash of Clans type shit but the game consumed his life for a week and he had to uninstall it, just like me.

But god mother fucking dammit these mother fuckers are so close knit and I don’t know why that pisses me off. Of course they would be, they’re like minded people at the top of their profession. Ah fuck, I’m just full of darkness that I won’t let go of. That’s why I read all that shit they write, because I know it’s right and I should do it.

I was getting to the point I was thinking fuck it I’m going to use my real name and cut out the cursing so my parents won’t be scandalized and I’ll just be clean cut and write funny, inspiring shit and I won’t have to go wait tables any more. Sometimes I want people to cut the shit and just fucking tell people we’re all fuck ups, waiters and shit. It’s a fucking tragedy to see the personalities that get swallowed up in this profession. Some of us are only a couple steps down from Louis CK, the kind of comedic talent we got. Some of us are only a few steps down from Sartre with our philosophical meanderings and writing and shit. Some of us are great interpretive dancers but no one even knows the greats of that bastard art so they get fucked just like the rest of us ‘almosts.’ And there we all go looking stupid all night taking orders and bringing down the house with our cynical charm.

And then you have meetings. Mother fucking meetings before dinner starts and the lifers tell you they’ve been doing this a long time and it takes skill to do and it’s a worthwhile profession. They tell you that we’re creating peace around the world, that we’re a part of what’s right in the world. And they mean it, they’re not bullshitting, they feel that way and they want to make sure we’re not all going to jump off a bridge somewhere because we’re rich enough not to struggle and smart enough to know we shouldn’t be wasting our lives knowing the difference between a serviette and a napkin.

Yeah so I was thinking I’ll use my real identity. I’ll own up to some shit, and cover up the rest. I’ll tweet and connect and reach out. I’ll write a book and I’ll sell it and I’ll retire to Bedlam.

Fuck that. But I meant to end this on a positive note. Well, shit, I’ve still got half a bottle of Evan Williams and the wolves aren’t at my door yet.