i’m glad i found your status “engaged” on fb

4 May

i’m glad i found your status on facebook changed to “engaged” on my live news feed.

 

Both of you with mundane first names, at first i thought: That couldn’t be my Dave, or Mike, or Slim or what ever the fuck your name, a four-letter word seared on my reputation and my pride.

 

But look! This social media tool is so efficient. I can just click on your dumb-ass name or hers, it hardly matters because you both display the same corny ass avatar of a couple smiling and happy and ready to get married forchristsakes.

 

You got rid of your dreads and you’re wearing a handsome and seasonal sweater. You are holding a boring woman. You are embarking on commitments we swore against on the rusty listening shores of Belle Isle. There is an appalling fake nature scene in the background of the pic.

 

Ultimately it’s for the best i found this out in public and on the internet where people are watching and you are beyond reach of physical or verbal violence.

 

i could click “comment” to contribute a string of incontrovertible slurs or salacious stories of your infidelity. i could ruin you with one message sent to your fiancee who is also on my list of “friends”. i could initiate a personal electronic intifada with one ominous statement, “You know i know what he likes, don’t you?”

 

Instead i navigated deactivation. Put my account on freeze. Euthanized the vapid curiosity that, at its peak, had me surfing your profile near constant until our next meeting.

Twin:

4 May

sis i need

[you to[o]] … [[w]ri[gh]t[e]]][?]

You, a better poem.

 

Enough

(of this!

pomo fuckin bull

 

– shit.”

 

Opening

4 May

i’d begin at the beginning if i knew when that was.

 

maybe it’s the earthy scent of the first pot of coffee brewing, but once it cries it’s last droplet you’ve already poured it out to the back-of-house who got in an hour before you did to do prep work. before they got in and began decapitating broccoli and peeling onions to nothing there is the kitchen manager who, despite his early-bird mentality, has yet to decide on the specials by 11AM opening. he is sweating over it with the owner who is stressing over sales from last night since he got in with the morning deliveries. by that time the pastry chef was just finishing up having baked, breaded, drizzled and sauteed since dawn.

 

that being said, the beginning is certainly not when i put out the hanging flowers, straighten each table, sweep the floors and adorn the doorstep with a welcome mat. then i make another round of the tables, tap each one gently on each corner and wait for it to wobble in the slightest. a few will sway, unsure of what they have to offer diners, and i prop these ones up with a wedge under the stunted leg. most will hang firm. ready itself for the first customer. it’s always preferable to call them people who patronize you with their orders “guests”.

 

what the “guests” need to understand, what we all need to know, is that there is always a beginning before you arrived. even if you are the first customer of the day, even if you are the pastry lady, even if you are the dawn. the sun doesn’t have the luxury or the hubris to deny it’s role in a machine, a system.

 

the sun presides over our universe, but there is always a solar system that encompasses that which is beyond her, and the restaurant is something different entirely. it rises and falls with the ring of the cash register and the pen scratches of tabs added up, delivered ambitiously to a business lunch, trucker pit stop, hungover college co-eds. some days it is a gasping for air, some days it is a sigh of relief, but every day there is a breath – a rise and a fall – and one before, and one after, and again until… then came me, an apron and a fresh pot of coffee brewed after the one poured already and a smile that speaks through clenched teeth and deception, “may i take your order?”