Wednesday, February 20, 2008

tiny nibbles - violet blue:

"I was thinking about how I worked in a cafe for three years after I got off the streets -- it wasn't my first job, which I got at 16 and got fired from for violating the dress code and wearing a spiked collar to work but got enough money in those two weeks to buy a leather jacket that kept me warm on the streets. I painted the Social Distortion logo on the back and studded it. It's easy to steal from craft stores, and I never got stealing, not once. And it's so boring on the streets, I just painted and studded for days in between dumpster diving and panhandling and made my jacket, mine.

"But later when I was 18 I worked in a cafe for three years and I was wondering how many people I served coffee to for five days a week for three years, how many people I smiled to and remembered what they liked and how I loved being the person everyone loved to see there. Nearby there was a fire station, and I opened the cafe at 6:30am alone and the firemen would come in one by one and I knew who loved raisin bagels toasted with butter and Earl Grey with the hot water poured over the bag just *so*. The firemen wanted me to be a firegirl, not just because my bob matched their trucks, but they really wanted me to take the test. They'd invite me to the station for tours and let me sit in the trucks, even in the drivers' seats. I didn't have the heart to tell them I didn't graduate from high school (or 9th grade) so I'd never pass any tests.

"The cafe owners tried to fire me more than once for wearing ripped jeans, and for having a visible tattoo. They had kids in private schools. When I closed I'd fucking rob the place for food. I would fill two grocery bags: one was for my housemates and me, the other was for the whores who worked the four scary gnarly streetcorners right outside my house because I knew they needed food and all had kids in nearby apartments and Odwalla juice was the right thing to steal for whores. No one ever noticed the food missing from the cafe.

4:27 AM