this fictionette probably shouldn't be slinging coffee
- 1,289 words (if poetry, lines) long
I'm going to keep this one short, because I'm not at home. I'm out at a friend's house, where there has been food and beer and margaritas and cards. Now there are very random conversations going on at a loud volume, and I am enjoying my usual role in these circumstances of "smart-ass fly on the wall."
I am very good at multi-tasking. Well. Maybe not very good. I'm multi-tasking, anyway.
Anyway, it's Friday, so here's a fictionette. As the Author's Note over there says, it came out of a dream--or, at least, the urge to turn the dream into something that made a kind of narrative sense. Since you can totally click that link and read about it, I won't repeat it here.
I will say, I've been trying to make sense of the "nurse" bit ever since writing up the Author's Note. Here it is in all its morning-after-the-dream glory:
Another diner catches me and asks, "So, do you like your hobby?" They mean my writing time at my desk in the corner. I explain that actually the writing is my job, and "I'm just the relief nurse for Corey while she's out." I don't know why I said "nurse" instead of "staff" or "waitress" or "server."
(What, you didn't expect dream journal excerpts when you started reading this blog?)
Thinking about it now, it occurs to me that "substitute nurse (when you're not even medically trained)" is an intensification of "substitute server (when you're not even on staff)." The latter theme might indicate a tendency on the part of the dreamer to over-volunteer and over-commit, and a problem with setting reasonable limits on one's sense of responsibility. The former takes it up a notch: "You cannot fix (heal) everyone and everything! Stop trying!"
So, OK. Taken under advisement. Thank you, dream. Would prefer you stick more to story ideas and less to psychoanalysis, yeah? But I suppose dream's gotta dream.
Now, about that cover art... Yes, that is my coffee cup. On my desk. No, I did not steal that coffee cup from Denny's. I bought it fair and square from Cen-Tex Supply in Boulder (no longer there, alas). Bought a vinegar shaker from them, too, just like the ones they have at Metairie Park Country Day for red beans and rice Wednesdays.
I get asked that, about whether I stole that coffee cup, from time to time. Less so these days, no doubt because it's a college hijinx type of question, and I'm closer to 40 than I am to my college years now. (And even during my college years I didn't get up to much in the way of college hijinx.) But when it comes out, the question isn't exactly a question. It's more of an exclamation of recognition: "Oh, you stole a Denny's cup too! Everyone does that sometime in their lives, don't they?" And then I have to say no, no I didn't. And then things get weird and awkward, like they do when you enthusiastically mistake someone for someone else.
Hey, I've committed my own small petty thefts. I have, from time to time, liberated unloved books. I am also guilty of hoarding hotel soap during multi-night stays, because soap is useful and housekeeping brings more at the drop of a hat and why should it go to waste? I just don't typically steal supplies from the restaurants I dine in, is all.
You've got your vices, I've got mine, is what I'm saying.