Hello. I Love You. Won’t You Tell Me Your Name

September 16, 2012

A case of mistaken identities.  

All _________(fill in the blank with an ethnicity distinct of yours) look the same.  

 

One summer I was waitressing in a nearby town and moonlighting–ish as a cocktail waitress at a nightclub.  I was 18 years old, finished with my first year at a women’s liberal arts college, home for the summer.  

 

The nightclub gig was a result of my mom.  She was renting retail space to a surf store who happened to own the local hotspot.  LIke several cuter and older girls I was given a tray.  Bartenders were supposed to take my orders and in retrospect I probably should have tipped them better although at the time I did not know any better.  Perhaps that’s why I had to wait to place my order.  

 

The manager of the bar and I did not get along.  Our personalities clashed and in another lifetime the outcome would be different.  

 

I remember being mortified when one waitress who was friendly with the manager told me my dad had called.  “What?”  I was shocked.  In the era before cell phones our business was less private.  I reasoned if my dad was looking for me, he would in theory call the nightclub – but why would he think I’d be there beyond a Saturday night? My heartbeat increased.  The conversation continued until I realized that she was referring to the landlord of the nightclub.  Apparently I had ousted as the landlord’s daughter, perhaps the only reason I was kept on as a once a week waitress who commanded no salary.  The confusion lay as i was the daughter of the landLADY of the surf store in town.  

 

And it was at said nightclub on a weeknight when I was merely a customer that i met a DJ of African American descent – as was a socially acceptable description of someone black. 

 

The following week I had presumed the DJ with whom we had an amazingly fun night with a group of people walked into my restaurant one town away.  

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Happy Labor Day My Dad’s Dying

September 3, 2012

We are all dying in one way.  We’re either living or dying.

At a certain point you past your midway point, you know you’re in the latter half of years.

The reality is no one knows when their time will end, and we could have already passed our half way point without knowing.

 

A local celebrity – 35 years old father of two went for a swim this August and was found washed up on the beach this summer.  He was a year older than me in school and we had mutual friends.  Every time I saw him, a handful of times each summer, he was friendly.

 

His tragic death left a dark cloud over the town.  So many people knew him, adored him although they probably would never use the term adore, were affected by his passing.  It was so sudden and unexpected, perhaps because he had persevered through some rough spots.

He woke up one day and it was his last.  I imagine if you had asked him how would he like to spend his final hours he would probably have said, wake up with my wife and kids then go to the beach, which is what he did and somehow you have to respect that when his clock expired he would not regret his final day.

 

There were other deaths this summer as well from the local camp director to two pedestrian accidents including a hit and run to fatal car accidents.  Apparently this was all statistically normal but still depressing nonetheless.  All of this while my father fights his two cancers and struggles with the symptoms.