Just Like Us

By nine forty five the light comes on, but I’m already awake. Everyone else doesn’t get up until the light shines into their eyes or the alarm blares off in their ears. Just like any other day I hear the morning chattering as the radio turns on. There are only a few hours to get ready.

By eleven ten I’m cleaned to my very best and ready for work.

By eleven thirty our first customer walks in. I always get nervous meeting new people even though I’ve been doing this for five years. Each time, I wonder if they will notice all of my scars, all of my imperfections I’ve collected over the years. After five years I feel so worn and ugly. My worst fear is that one day; I will be replaced by another just like me. One who is beautiful, has no scars, and is free of any blemishes. This feeling I usually tuck away in the outer curves of my mind as we begin to get busier. As the place begins to roar to life and I’m going from one customer to another I forget about this fear. Or at least I do until I catch the reflection of light hitting off a beautiful perspiring surface. While I continue to glide over everyone, there’s a brief second, I tell myself, “If I could be that thin, that pretty, I don’t think anyone would ever replace me.” I wish I was not so big, but I know it’s impossible for me to look like that. Whoever has the higher power, made me this way.

By two thirty seven the crowd has died down. Since I’m more reliable than the others I’m going in between the remaining customers. The only problem with being above everyone else would be the weight I have to carry. Sometimes it’s as light as two empty glasses, but other times I feel blogged down with so many things to the point where I am unable to name them all. The worst is when I am trying to please so many people at once. Rushing to take care of their needs and making sure they are happy. The problem with this is I lose myself in the process. I get worn out and sometimes find myself on the floor. This is when I rely on others to pick me back up. Many people have come into my life, have touched me. When I’m about to fall, there are a few that couldn’t catch me. There was an imbalance on someone’s part, leading to a crash and a mess on the floor. Of course there would be broken pieces to pick up, dwell on, and then time came to move on. On the other hand there were others who did catch me. There was an imbalance, but they caught it just before it was too late. They protected me and I knew I could count on them. I would always be safe in their hands.

By four we close down for an hour to get ready for our evening crowd. The owners are running through the place making sure everyone is doing their job. They have been married for twenty two years. Together they started this business and their dream came true. You are able to see the love they have for one another just by how they steal quick glances at each other. For twenty two years they have been in love and still are. I wish I could find someone to share my dreams with. It would be incredible to be able to share my love, my hopes, my fears, and my life with another. The most powerful evidence of their love comes in two beautiful forms. They have two girls, seven and nine. On weekends, the girls come and place flowers on the tables and every time they swoon all of the customers’ hearts. When I see all of them together I can’t help but feel happy and have a longing for the kind of life they lead. Someday, I say. Even though it is very unlikely, I still allow myself to dream.

By six thirty our business crowd rolls in. These are usually the big shots so we’re the mirror image of perfect at its best. We tend to their every need and respond to their every call. In this business, you have to please the customer and make sure they are fully content. Glasses filled to the top, food hot and delicious, and service impeccable.

By midnight we begin to shut down. I take this time to rest from my long day while the others clean. It’s during this time that I feel helpless because I’m unable to pitch in. I tell myself that they are grateful for all that I do, but no one ever tells me, “Great job today.” All I do is reassure myself. A pat on the back from someone would be nice. This thought makes me feel like I’m not living, that I’m just being pulled through each day with no choice.

By one, everyone files out of the restaurant, the place is locked up for the night, and I’m left stacked on the counter with the other trays.

Just Like Us

amiecanus

Joined October 2009

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

Creative Writing piece, decided to take on a very different point of view when writing this piece. hope you enjoy

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