what the work intern is

 

she’s a woman.

she’s formal.

and also informal.

she’s sad because she misses her mom who isn’t even dead yet.

she’s sad because she is afraid everyone will die

including herself.

she’s excited to potentially die before everyone else so she doesn’t have to feel loss.

she likes forms that help people get closer to their feelings

not just sad feelings but also uplifting ones and inspiring ones.

she wants people to get to that place where they are like “woah what the fuck, I can do that! I really can!”.

so she uses bureaucratic techniques to bring out big ideas in humans.

so sometimes she looks corporate.

like in the way she dresses.

and in the clipboards she handles.

but then when you read the words you realize she’s a little different.

she’s concerned with economy.

because she used to not know what that word meant

like when she was a person in school who didn’t want to sound dumb.

and then one day she woke up and realized that economy was everything.

like that it simply meant “exchange”.

which is everything.

like saying “oh, hello” to someone else.

and then listening to the someone else say, “why, hello” back.

it’s neighbors.

like one egg for a cup of sugar.

economy is basic.

and that’s when she became obsessed with economy.

and started to hate the idea of feeling intimidated by economy.

because it was all so natural in social life.

like all sorts of lifeforms engage in economies.

because they help each other.

give and take and give and take.

and then she realized that everyone was just thinking there was one way to do economy.

like the education to the job to the money route.

so she started to get mad that everyone thought there was only one way.

and that one way started with higher education.

which actually costs a lot of freaking money.

like so much money that little ants laugh at what we do.

like so much money that big hairy aliens laugh at what we do.

and like so much money that deep sea eyeball creatures laugh at what we do.

we all follow along thinking we need all of these institutions in our lives to pass time.

we need to pass time.

and so then everyone thinks it’s ok to start taking out these things called loans.

and acquiring this thing called debt.

which is all just managed by another institution.

like we all think that this is all normal and ok.

But really it’s a big scam.

and even all of the creatures are laughing at us.

she’s embarrassed.

frankly

she is.

because after we get this higher education that is supposed to get us a job.

we can’t get a job.

or maybe we can get a job but it’s not the job we fantasized about.

fantasy.

fantasy.

so it’s not the job we fantasized about because it either sucks like woah.

or doesn’t pay us the money to pay the institution.

so we have to work it anyways or work it plus serve home fries with ketchup.

because we have to pay back our loans.

we have to pay back our DEAD.

I mean our DEBT.

we have to pay back our DEBT.

and that’s all we do

and that’s all we worry about

because we are told that if we don’t pay back our DEAD.

I mean our DEBT.

then we can’t do anything else in life.

she’s basically pissed about this.

because she thinks we can do this.

all of this

another freaking way.

like it’s much more simple.

We need food.

We need water.

We need shelter.

We need love.

It’s the stuff we learned about in kindergarten.

And we all learned it.

So we can all do it.

It’s called sharing.

And giving each other what we need.

By working with each other.

and communicating.

and gosh, food.

food is so good.

and even better when you share it.

she loves all this.

but she sucks a little because she is still stuck in the what is now.

so she gets held up a lot.

and she hurts her lover’s feelings.

and she hires interns because she needs help with time management.

even though she counsels on time management.

she worries about aging and cellulite on her upper arms.

she doesn’t give her loved ones enough attention.

and sometimes just likes staring out a train window.

or resting her eyes in the middle of the day.

because what is time.

she doesn’t know.

and then she feels bad for not doing.

and gets caught in power.

and caught in privilege.

because she wears a suit.

and likes to try formality.

and then sometimes the role of formality overpowers her brain.

it overpowers her brain.

and she ends up acting in certain ways.

even though she is thinking in certain ways.

and these ways contradict themselves.

and it sucks because she really just wants to be perfect.

she wants to be perfect.

but in a radical way.

and then she gets sucked into an irradical vision of perfection.

an irrational vision of perfection.

and then remembers that perfection doesn’t exist.

and then she feels dumb for striving for perfection.

because intellectually she knows that’s bullshit.

she’s caught in the system.

like her dad.

like everyone.

no one can see the way out.

she has moments of clarity.

and relies on young interns to remind her.

to remind her of her ideals.

and then she feels happy.

happy like squirting redi-whip into your mouth happy.

because it feels good.

it just feels good.

she thinks it feels good when you squirt redi-whip in your mouth.

like in an emotional way.

 

paths

Then I came back and it was winter so I put on her boots making it real to me that she isn't actually here anymore - that I can't talk to her. But when someone dies when you're away it doesn't feel like it actually happened and if I were still sitting in a restaurant with bad lighting eating a samosa then maybe she would still be alive. I wanna go back there so she can be alive again.

Instead I visit my mom and she reminds me of how I told her she was prettier than my step-mom when I was three - like I thought there was a competition between parents. It's too hard to leave her again. Like I wanna put her in my pocket because everything feels too fast for me without her.

"You amaze me", my high school running coach said to me when I beat the girl with the braids.

"You amaze me", my dad said to me when we reunited in an alleyway in Hanoi. I was eating a bowl of pho on a small stool made of bamboo.

"Quick quick quick quick, Meredith, be good in the middle" she yelled to me from the sidelines and even though I heard her I still peed my pants. I thought the point was to win but really it was to cooperate. It was to cooperate with my legs - to cooperate with my mind - to cooperate with icy sidewalks and movement. 

Movement.

Movement.

People I grow to care about become emails that I have to respond to that turns into guilt when they're gone - turns into guilt when I'm gone. And now I realize that no one is prettier than anyone and I was just a baby when I said that to my mom who is now in my pocket. Now she gets it because she's watched where I've been and she knows that the other woman is pretty too. 

I guess what I mean to say is that instead of leaving I wanna put them all in pocket because everything feels too fast for me alone.

And if I'm wearing a dress, I guess I'll just put them all in my head and then I won't forget.

Nah, I won't forget.

 

I keep getting this weird feeling

It's like when you see an old man sitting at table four - the table in the window. And you start to think about him chewing his food and how many times he has chewed food - not necessarily this same food but food like smashed carrots and samosas or even New York style cheesecake. And then for some reason you think about his mama who once fed him food and taught him how to chew and even if it wasn't his mama that taught him how to chew his food you think about how he taught himself how to chew it or how his sister or friend taught him how to chew it - like how he figured out how to make this thing that we all need work for him to make him who he is and keep himself going. And it's this weird thing you always think about when you serve table four and table seven and table twelve. And really all of the tables - like when you think of them and how they learned how to chew and not just them but we and where we came from and how we all know how to do this action that is so pleasurable but mostly necessary. But then when you think about how you get the food inside of your organ body and how it varies for everyone and how it doesn't matter how it gets there like even if it's spicy or sweet or eaten with your hands or eaten with a fork or eaten with a stick, it's the same. It's necessary. 

It's necessary.

And then sometimes you worry about choking. You worry about choking. You worry about other people choking on the any food. And you worry about yourself choking on the any food. And that worry becomes momentarily debilitating - like you wanna save everyone and tell them to stop chewing. You wanna tell them to be careful and to maybe just drink miso soup because it's safer. 

And then it makes you think about how when you are setting a table you should always rank the forks first and give yourself the one with the most dents or the one with the least weight or the one with most dents and the least weight. Or maybe give yourself the stick that isn't a stick at all or give yourself the stick thats is full of splinters. 

Or something.

It's just this weird feeling.

this is what it felt like (to me)

There was a guy laying on the train platform. He was dead. He must of been dead. People were standing around him - trying to shake him to life. But then a train stopped in front of me blocking my view and all I could see now were heads looking out the sleeper car windows exchanging ten rupee notes for cups of watered down chai. Some people got off and crossed the track carrying excessively taped bundles on their backs and holding their child's hand. And they all screamed, "chai chai" but not in unison yet still melodic. And then, "samosa samosa samosa" less melodic but still delicious. And they stared at me from the side lower berth maybe because my lower back hurt but only because I didn't know how to sit yet. I didn't know how to squat yet. Behind the blue tarp they were rolling chapatis on a stone slab. The baby wouldn't stop crying despite living so close to a swingset. And then Deviba said, "I'm so glad your here". She didn't even know me yet. I ate pooja which I thought tasted better than it did but it did because the environment I was in was so warm like monkeys in the trees. Or like hogs walking across the parking lot at 6 am when sleeping in a hotel lobby that wreaks of last nights wedding and jelebi. Empty cups of chai scattered around. Or walking along a busy dusty highway because you are almost to a place you think may serve salt lime soda even if the lighting is sort of sad. It makes you remember a whole terrace to yourself and steaming hot dosas with fresh coconut chutney. Mohapatra's smile, his white shirt, and pressed blue pants intercepting the tray of dirty dishes from my hands on the green marble steps leading up to the main house. And waking up to Ranjita scolding Dude for eating Delsi's rice for breakfast became a rhythm, became a ritual. She went to work while I ate ragi flakes and dahi - the dahi in the orange and red container was the best because it was the thickest. I had to walk all the way to Nilgiri's for it and they didn't open until 10 am. Chaturangas in my bedroom. Jeffy found us somehow at the thali place that no one knew existed but they offered chapati after chapati after chapati. I learned to only do two a meal. Even though the mom was so beautiful and majestic, she was more of a human than anyone knew. I wondered if the unlimited thalis got old and bland in her dark room on the floor where she constantly had to say no to another serving of pickle. At least they washed my hands. I could have washed my own but I didn't understand where the bathroom was so when he was there waiting with the bar of soap and towel, I just did it. When I was in the cold lonely palace I missed the hand washing. It was like I got used to everything being brought right to me that I had more expectations when I was in the fancy palace that was actually just depressing, and even more so when I had to eat corn flakes for breakfast. Like with more money we expect to get better things but we actually don't because people make things better. And dang it, he made the best sweets. Like the one with cardamom and jaggery inside the puff pastry or the incredibly dense yet moist thumbprint style cookie. Both were trying to compete with his bharta but neither could compete, they could only compliment. Picking a peak and then making that your day's pilgrimage became a routine. A routine for only the three days there but that's how you make a place feel like a home. When we had to leave, the flowers were starting to die. "Chai?" he asked as we wrote in the sun next to the tree that will blossom mangos in 3 to 4 months. Dwe, exhale. When her son came to visit there was conversation and whiskey to be drunk - too much of both - but an interesting brain since he grew up in the place but looked different than everyone else. Katti rolls around the fire that we couldn't participate in because we ate too many chapatis. Too many chapatis for breakfast but those were paratha - the ones with layers. Her hands knew how to roll ladoo, she was so quick and fluid. Just like how he remembered my older sister - he knew her as classically radical or radically classic or maybe those words aren't enough to explain her. They aren't. It actually does seem dark when you feel alone so Al Jazeera and the BBC somehow make it brighter but only until the electricity goes out. But when the sun comes up the next morning and the boy watering the flowers in a brown suit smiles at you, it's not lonely. Annoying cappuccino that costs too much but is almost worth it because it comes with a chocolate covered espresso bean. A plate of steamed vegetables with a view of the Himalayas or a cup of coffee on a dark Bhaktapurian rooftop. Hipsters, hipsters, American rock, well-fit pants and tobaggans. No one knows their cool so they are cooler. Momos don't get old. When you think they do, you crave them. Chaturangas in my bedroom. The idli stand near the beach promenade where they serve the sambar in a plastic bag and the chutney is drizzled on top. Banana leaf and newspaper. God, they are smart. Street food is smart. Informal economies create culture - they give a place a vibe. Vibes. I seriously thought the auto driver wanted to gang rape us. Judgmental fantasies spawned by too many chapatis and dark highways with peacocks in the dusty roads and long walks to get anywhere. I'm worried about drinking water all the time. It makes my mouth dry just thinking about it. Games on trains with pen and paper ordering chai to pass the time. We gave him a US dollar because he was interested in it and we had it. The first walk home over the bridge as the sun was setting reminded me why I like to see places. Like universality found in skies. Even if it was so hot in there day after day and sort of mundane, you pine for a routine that once was. Panic attacks in grocery stores, wobbling in the streets. Is it the heat or the ashwaganda? Karthick, Karthick, which one? You mean the hotel or the guy at Cafe des Arts. No not Cafe des Arts but rather Cafe des Artistes. I can't tell what it's called. Maybe it's Karthick. Her legs did look like my sisters especially in corduroy shorts and with dogs. Too much time in a small village train station. We'll walk and then they'll all stare at us until one can speak English and then they'll talk to him. Pure veg or non-veg? Paneer is pure veg. The motorbike knocked him over because he was riding on the wrong side of the road. Sure, buy wedding pants, no one will know when you aren't in a place where it's known. You have to mop the floors every morning because the dust comes in through the cracks in the wood. But the clothes dry in an hour there because it's so hot. Just wash them in the bathroom by hand - it's cheaper and faster and works just as well. Machines. We could use them to go to space but not to have space. He was working on leather shoes so I gave him the leather polaroid briefcase. I left the shoes by the dumpster and the sweatshirt will go in the lost and found. His smile. Her smile. His smile. Their smile. Ginger honey lemon tea when you arrive at 10 o'clock at night and have been freezing everywhere else. But comfort is only memorable in the moment. Or at least when there is white crystal sand on the beach of a river surrounded by mountains. And hours later in a boat with American Koreans who also thought the water bottles were filled too high. He cut off my rat tail before he left and we just let the hair float into the air. I'm just going to brush my teeth with the freaking water. I'll eat an apple and climb a mountain with an American learning Tibetan. Ekum, inhale. Yoga is about a personal practice. You learn this but you learn from. Marshmallow giggling in a Buddhist nunnery provides warmth. It took all day to find the post office so I didn't. Google maps is worthless just get comfortable with not finding what you thought you would find. I keep picking the sweet that tastes like styrofoam because it looks better than it tastes. He always wore that big utility coat because it was cold in the morning. He didn't smile much but he meant to. Cepeda bodega or Swati Cafe? Moong dal and digestives will work. Get the veg biryani - two spoons. I liked the top better even though I had to jump down in the middle of the night to pee. The curtains were thick enough to keep the light out. Oh a cow. Just throw the banana peel on that pile. What am I doing again? Another chai. Or now milk tea. Is it the same? It's best to ride the bus when standing by the door. Air for breath. Dwe, exhale. Trust them, they know where you wanna go. Nay nay chapati. Nay nay nay nay. Asha hugged me and kissed my cheek. She's much shorter but also wiser. Stirring the gravy like she was brushing her teeth. It's too sad to leave people all the time. Fancy dinners with Devangi followed with coffee and cake and trash magazines. Biking on dusty roads that led to sustainability and fresh curd in the morning. French music is better - they feel more. Or feel better. Or feel more honestly. Swee. Chai. My mom. I miss my mom. Bamboo buildings and scooting drills and hammers across to plant dead plants that need more water. Water. Water. He shared his rehydration electrolyte tablets with me and she made me porridge. Company to the German orchestra and a conversation about aimless work and aimless life. Chocolate bars before bed. A dinner with Americans was loud and burgers were on the table. I could run there and it makes you think about compatible personalities and not being too serious. "Ah you're wearing a proper khurti", she exclaimed. But later no one else was when I was there and not there. Dwe, exhale. Bare feet everywhere. Feet adapt. Chai chai. Samosa samosa samosa. Chapati. Ehhhhhhyaaa. Another chai. 15 rupees. Injections without shoes and crying babies. Dirty boogers walking the street. Chaturangas in my bedroom. Am I staring in space or am I meditating? Am I reading about debt or am I thinking about donuts for dinner? Riding a bicycle in pitch darkness because it's fun and you need to get home. Marching at night to avoid potholes. Dogs. Chai. Dogs. Chai. Cows. Chai. Am I? Are they? Am I? Are they? Chai. Dogs. Nay chapati. Nay nay nay. Four times, nay. Cows. Chai. Chapati. Am I? Are they? Chaturangas in my bedroom. Cows. Dogs. Dogs. Chapati. Am I? Are they?
Chai.
Chai.
Cows. 
Chai.
Chaturanga.
Chai.
Ekum.
Chai. 
Cows.
Ekum.
Dogs.
Chapati.
Chaturanga.
Cows.
Dogs.
Am I?
Are they?
Chai.
Chai.
Chai.
Dwe.
Exhale.
Exhale.

Am I?

concept

I saw this grape fall out of someone's sandwich bag the other day. It landed on the subway floor and I just watched it. It rolled up and down and up and down and people almost stepped on it but no one did. No one even noticed it. Well I did. I did and so did this other girl.

This other girl and I watched the grape roll up and down and up and down just a small parcel of life taking risks navigating the impending doom and enjoying it's last moments of adventure. 

That other girl then locked eyes with mine. We looked at the grape and then looked at each other and then looked at the grape and looked at each other, and it was this bond between the three of us - the grape, the girl, and myself.

And the only thing I could really think was - holy crap this moment is beautiful.

 

a self-righteous douche

It went like this.

I was riding my bike home and I wasn’t wearing a helmet because it was really hot out and I didn’t want my head to get all sweaty which is really dumb because if I wrecked and died I would have just wished my head was all sweaty and that I was alive and my family would have wished that my head was all sweaty and that I was alive too.

So I was riding my bike home and I wasn’t wearing a helmet and it was midnight and I was a little bit drunk because I drank one beer and it was a Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA which is a hip beer brewed in Brooklyn that comes in a cold can.

So I was riding my bike and I was four blocks from my house in Crown Heights. I was on Park Place approaching Franklin Avenue when I noticed that a fire hydrant was open and squirting water out like a big sprinkler which happens all over Brooklyn in the summertime. There were some young kids - teenagers actually - hanging around the fire hydrant. No one was playing in it at the time, just hanging around it.

And so because it was hot and I was riding my bike and I never really got to play in one of those fire hydrant sprinklers before, I was like, “oh yea, I will get to ride through that fire hydrant sprinkler and the cold water will feel real good and cool on my sweaty body and it will be so fun to just zip through the squirting water on my bike. Ah, it will be so great”. So I started peddling right towards the fire hydrant real casual and smooth because I wanted the teenagers to think I was cool and could just zip through fire hydrant sprinklers real nice.

But just as I was passing through the squirting water something incredibly shocking but real happened.

And what happened was this: that fire hydrant sprinkler water was way flippin’ stronger and harder than any dumb sprinkler some white person like me grew up with in the rural mountains of Maryland. And that water pressure coupled with the velocity I was riding at in the dark at midnight a little drunk without a helmet made the connection between the water and the bike and my body go all wiggy wonky. And I became more startled than anything else, and I sort of swerved all over the street like a dumb white girl who never experienced anything real. I didn’t end up falling but I know those teenagers were judging me like teenage judge machines do and I road home feeling stupid for thinking I could just jump into that sprinkler like I knew what I was doing - like I had a history with it. Those fire hydrant sprinklers are not like those baby sprinklers that water lawns in the rural mountains of Maryland.

I don’t have a history with fire hydrant sprinklers. I don’t really know how they work.

-work intern

 

a perspective

For the last supper we each ordered our own plate, five sides for $8.50. I ordered double kabocha squash because it’s my very favorite, accompanied with okra, collards, and chickpea stew. He chose a platter of mock meats.

Imhotep’s, a Jamaican vegan spot on Nostrand in Crown Heights. It was our go-to for a hearty meal filled with perfectly spiced vegetable slops and vegan proteins. Usually we shared one plate and were plenty stuffed, but since this would be our last time, we went extreme: They were going to close for good on Christmas Eve.

Afterwards, our stuffed, content, yet sad bellies strolled down Franklin Avenue snarling at the bars and fancy joints stuffed with white hipsters. “God, they are so dumb. If only they walked two blocks over to Nostrand where the real food is.” Our conversations in this hood generally take this turn, and it’s only because every single day there’s a new cheese shop, yogurt joint, or oyster bar. We continue, “ugh, gentrification, race, class, money, hegemony, blah, blah, blah.” Our over-educated analytical brains can’t stop critiquing and criticizing.

We enter my apartment building and greet the man who lives downstairs on the first floor. He and his family have lived in the building for years. My apartment was above theirs, a recently renovated one where I live with three other 20-somethings. Across the hall the same deal, and up and up, the same deal. Every floor houses two apartments stuffed with four to five 20-somethings.

He went into my room to change and I went into the bathroom to wash up. This is when everything got real.

While I was washing my face I accidentally looked in the mirror and something horribly disturbing, but necessary happened. Provoked by my white skin, I started thinking. I scanned the kitchen looking at the cheaply made appliances.

I’m living in a dorm building made for transient 20-somethings who are easily manipulated by landlords. Is that what I am too? What fool am I to think I have ownership over this space and this neighborhood when I have lived here for four months and likely won’t live here much more than two years! What fool am I to be using pretentious jargon that I learned in my overpriced and overrated education that only equipped me with the skills to criticize everyone who looks and acts like me! And damn it, what right have I to be sad that the neighborhood is changing and that my favorite restaurant is closing even though it has only been my favorite for four months! What about the people who have been going to Imhotep’s for twenty years! Ugh, learning truths about myself blows!

Breathe.

And then while I was putting on my jammies something incredibly amazing and necessary happened. Provoked by the taste of kabocha squash, I started thinking.

Wait a doggone minute! Just because I am white, from a middle class family, and “educated” (ugh, spare me) doesn’t mean I’m a jerk-off. Does it?

And then the vision of a pie chart popped into my brain, one I was forced to look at years ago in a group-think session. It was about social identities and you had to fill in the circles with traits about yourself that were out of your control; race, class, gender, age, etc. We then shared our social identities with the group and I recall feeling ostracized because they all felt more comfortable identifying in these ways than I did.

I don’t wanna identify as a white female from Maryland and have to associate with the same people just because we all were born into the same lot. Uck! I want to identify as other things, personal things. Real things.

And then the vision of the other pie chart I was forced to look at popped into my head. For this one we had to fill out our personal identities; the food we like, the music we listen to, the books we read, the activities we participate in.

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about, why can’t we analyze difference based on those personal identities? As in, I like Miles Davis, you like Miles Davis, a match.

It went on.

And how the heck do I even know what anyone in this neighborhood prefers? I am semi aware of everyone’s social identity, the traits they were born with, maybe their gender and race. But I don’t know what the 20-somethings that live above me think or do or like, and I don’t know what the owners of Imhotep’s who have lived in Crown Heights for decades think or do or like. (Kabocha squash?) And it’s because I exist in my own damn lone brain all the time and what I really need is to get out there and start talking to people! The new, the old, both, all! I need to go beyond their birth given identities, and get to know which slop they would choose double of at Imhotep’s, damn it!

And that’s what I am setting out to do, stepping out of my fantasy brain and onto the streets to understand the entire hood, past and present.

-work intern

 

cooperation

As a young child I spent a lot of time hypothesizing about what I want to be when I grow up as we are forced to do in grade school. The first thing I wanted to be was a muder (also known as a mother). Then, I moved on and wanted to be a teacher. By the time I got to third grade I abandoned those pansy womenly jobs and decided I was going to be a marine biologist, a career path that was decided after the debut of Free Willy. But that quickly changed in the same year, the big year of 1993 when Jurassic Park came out. Then I had decided once and for all that I would be an archaeologist. And if I were to psychoanalyze that thought process, you know watching humans get eaten by dinosaurs and then wanting to be that thing, I must have always had deranged tendencies rampant in my extracurricular thoughts.

There is one career that I always knew I didn't want to be and that is the career of a waitress. I liked the aprons they wore and they were usually pretty but I had no clue how I was going to remember all of those specials without reading them off a piece of paper. Some waitresses had to say three or four different things complete with descriptions without looking at anything! And to a bunch of strangers to boot! Yikes. That part of the job was way too scary.

But then, low and behold, when I got to high school and for 12 consecutive years there after, I have been and still am, a diligent and dedicated (maybe) waitress.

I guess I conquered my fears.

But what I wanted to tell you about was this internal moment I had just days ago when I was biking home from a brunch shift at a restaurant I just started working in. 

This is what happened.

I was biking on my bike. It is a 1.6 mile commute and sometimes most times I don't wear my helmet because it is so close. But that actually makes little sense because there are still cars that could hit me within those 1.6 miles. Don't tell my dad that I do that. Please don't.

Anyhoo, so I am riding my bike home from brunch and I was a little drunk because I drank one beer while I was folding napkins. It was a Six Point Crisp, which is a hip beer brewed in Brooklyn and it comes in a very cold can. So I was riding my bike home without a helmet and I was a little drunk (don't tell my dad) and so naturally I started to get pretty heady. You know, my thoughts in my head stuff. I will try to remember what happened in it.

Here goes:

God damn it, Bronstein is such a pushy bitch! So big whoop if I added an extra piece of bread to the ticket even though the frittata already came with a piece of bread. Hell, I didn't know! I mean I guess I should know that but when you have a bajillion things going on and someone is jabbering in your ear following your every move, saying "uh Meredith, you know that the fritatta already comes with a piece of bread and so adding it to the ticket is really pointless. Ba deeb baba ba doo da ya ya..."  Ok I realize that maybe that was a legitimate thing to tell me but then when I accidentally dropped the chicken sandwich I was wrapping up to go because I thought I could balance it in my hands ----

HOLY COW, a stretch hummer! Who needs that putrid looking thing! Why is it in Brooklyn!

---and we have the dumbest grossest way of packing things up to go because aluminum foil is gross and wasteful and to just wrap a slop of leftover eggs in it is really nasto-rama. Those people probably open their aluminum leftovers and just throw them away because who is going to lick the horseradish cream sauce off the top of it. Then when Bronstein told me I was dumb for dropping the chicken sandwich I felt really dumb. I don't know if she told me I was dumb but I felt dumb and I am sure I would have felt that way even if she hadn't acknowledged the drop. It wasn't like I intended to drop the stupid thing.---

WOAH, look how sweaty that man's back is, I wonder what he was lifting! It's not that hot out!

---And who really gives a crapola if I forgot to put the side of ketchup on the plate with the side of potatoes. By the time I got to the table I realized it myself and the last thing I freaking need is someone breathing down my throat saying, "Um Meredith the potatoes get a side of ketchup with them." God, I just wanna yak up a lugie thinking about the snarky tone in her voice and then one would think----

YIKES! Wet leaves on the road with this bike! I could totally skid and hit my helmet-less head off of the pavement. I can see it now! Strangers would have to figure out who I am and then figure out who to call. Who would they call? I don't have anything on my person that says who to call if I die. Would they call the first number in my phone? Nisse? How do they know where I live? My roommates would just realize after a week or so that I haven't come home. Shit, life is so scary without a mom. No ones knows about me here. Who am I? I don't know anyone here! I'm alone!

---Ugh and Bronstein! When service was over I thought she would ease up on barking orders at me but noo..."Uh, Meredith, did you polish all of the water glasses? Did you count how many you brought up in the beginning of service? Did you ask Santos to wash them? Did you...? Did you...? Lady, of course I didn't do any of that because I have been so focussed on listening to your pushy bossy voice the whole time!!! I just wanted to scream, I AAAAAMMMMAAAA. GIve a sista time. UGH. Restaurants! Why am I working here? I have a dumb degree this is so lame and dumb and people are bossy why are people so bossy!---

And I don't even wanna go to Nisse's party. It will be so scary and I hate talking to people. I won't know anyone and all they will talk about is sharing resources and society this and politico that. Gag me. 

----It felt so good when I could finally just chillax and fold napkins and drink a beer and they made that bomb ass sweet potato salad so I didn't have to buy food. And holy hell, money. Cash money, bitches. $225 bucks right in me palms. That's what I'm talking about.----

I can't believe Yoshi still hasn't removed those gnarly mops from his fire escape. He has lived in that room for 8 months and it would just take one second. Grody!

----

By then I was home so my head sort of stopped. I started to get more rational. I think. 

I was thinking about when I opened the cupboard underneath the POS system in order to put my napkins in just before I left the restaurant. There are supposed to be 10 stacks of 30 napkins. I had contributed two stacks that day. But when I put my stack in, I couldn't get over the fact that my stack was so leany and uneven and the napkins I folded bulged out and some were way thicker than others. And when I looked at the other stacks, like the ones that Bronstein folded, they were so neat and orderly and flat. Every napkin looked like the next. Just like a nice solid community of napkins hanging out in the dark cupboard. Then I felt bad for my stacks because they were probably being judged by the neat stacks. I bet all the neat stacks were talking about my bulgey stacks like, "Ew those stacks really need to get themselves together. Who let them in here all chaotic and distraught?" Judging, judging.

And then I felt insecure because whoever came into the cupboard to use the stacks next was clearly going to know which ones were mine. And that's when I decided I was being irrational about the whole Bronstein barking in my ear all day thing. 

You know, that's when I thought, hey, we are team, we should all be on the same page, doing the same thing, putting in the same amount of work, holding each other accountable because we all want the same thing out of this. We all want the cash money and the cold can of beer. Bronstein can bark in my ear all she wants. Otherwise, maybe I wouldn't realize that the frittata already comes with bread. It doesn't seem that interesting to recognize.

That day, home alone, I decided I was gonna keep working on making my napkins straight so that they fit in with the rest. 

-work intern