Last night I had a drink with a coworker. I’m a waitress, and he’s a line cook. He looked tired, I think he always looked tired. He was more than a line cook, he was the sous chef, or would be once the new restaurant got more established. Right now it’s not, and they have those guys working doubles for six days a week.
Every night they work hard, close up, then head to the bars and get drunk. They stay up all night and come into work the next day hung-over and do it all over again.
I saw exhaustion and whiskey in his face, and we began to talk. And these talks are the one of the reasons I go to the bar and sit down with people when I’d much rather be sleeping in my bed. I know a lot about this guy now, he opened up and we talked about things, about real stuff. And even though I don’t work as hard, I feel just as tired. There’s a weariness that bears on all of us.
He told me he likes to work, that he likes the chaos of the kitchen. There’s something that triggers in your head where you don’t even think, you just do. It’s pure instinct. “I like being in the weeds,” he told me.
I shook my head and told him that I didn’t.
I don’t like being in the weeds. That animalistic instinct that triggers fight in his head rings run in mine. That’s why I don’t like waiting tables, it’s a lot of busyness, and I’ve come to the point where I don’t like being busy. I don’t like working. I’m a very, very lazy person. (To a fault, I’ll admit.)
Vices and virtues are nothing but sisters.
He laughed at me. Apparently it’s obvious that I don’t like to wait tables. He told me that I’m good at it, but he can tell that I didn’t enjoy doing it. “I like being busy,” he said. “It means I don’t have to think.”
“It’s good to think.”
And he laughed at me again, but this time very differently. He shook his head, took a swig of his whiskey, and I my vodka.
I like these types of talks because it shows me that we all think about the same thing. We continued to talk about the balancing act of life, and I played another coworker in a game of pingpong and lost completely. And I met a lot of people, and saw a lot of the same people, because we all go to the same place at the end of the night, all of us for different reasons, but maybe not as different as you would think.