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That really can’t be the correct time

August 3, 2008

I have to set my alarm clock on its loudest setting or else I can will myself to ignore it despite placing it so far away that I have to actually rise from bed in order to turn it off. My clothes are found by feeling around in the dark and smelling them to make sure they aren’t too foul. I find my bathing suit and an extra pair of underwear to bring with me to the pool. I slip on my tennis shoes and blindly go out the door into the summer sunshine.

Driving down to their house I see the kids already outside playing on the sidewalk and running around. The biggest runs to me and grabs my legs and tells me he is named Batman today. All day, okay? I say sure and we head into the house. I crank up the Cat Stevenson on the stereo and they dance around like maniacs, thats actually what I call it, while i sweep the floor and clean up the kitchen from breakfast. We head down to the basement and I put in the morning movie and we all snugle down and watch Sleeping Beauty for the millionth time. The baby is sleepy and he goes into his crib for his nap. I play a board game with the big boy and then we start to make lunch. The baby gets up and he is wet and stinky and I think to myself for the millionth time that while Iove children, I mostly love that they are not mine for good. We pack up and head down to the pool.

I am playing with the baby in the little pool and a mother comes over and says angrily, “Excuse me, but what is your sons name?” I stare at her and smile and say, “He isn’t my son, I am his nanny. Did you ask him what his name is, cause he is pretty smart.” She smiles sourly and states, “I asked him what his name was because my son wanted to play with him and he said his name is Batman.” I laugh and say, “Well, then thats what you better call him.” I stare at her and wonder why she wants to squash some 4 year olds imagination all for the sake of some arbitrary formality. I doubt her son cares if he wants to be called Batman. She impatiently looks at me and says,” I would appreciate it if you told me his name.” I say with an earnest face, “Batman. His parents are fans of the comic you know.” She huffs off and I look at the baby standing in the little pool splashing happily away and shake my head in disbelief. Adults are so narrow, I think.

Later we gather our selves together and head back to the car and looking at all the gardens in the old city neighborhood. We stop to admire the house on the corner and the progress its giant fushia rose bush is making this summer. We spy a butterfly on a flower and he is named and a lifestory created for him. We assume he is also on his way home for dinner, gathering food for his family. We say hello to the stainedglass windows we like and make a wish on the star in the transom in the house near where my car is parked. We pile in and plod on home.

The boys run around with trucks while I make dinner and the big boy stands at the sink helping me wash dishes making a great soapy mess but I have to mop anyway and now I won’t need a bucket. His parents finally come home and I kiss the boys goodbye and go home to get ready to bartend that night.

I take a shower to wash off the pool and get dressed in clean white t-shirt and jeans, a giant rhinestone pin and huge dangly glass earrings, pile my hair on top of my head, put on too much black eyeliner and red lipstick.

Running down the stairs to my car and hoping I find a good parking spot I listen to the radio and sing along to some Talking Heads song. I get to the bar and am on the second shift and will close up the bar tonight. Its already crowded and too many college kids want shooters I don’t know how to make. I have already learned the trick to ask, “Hey, what color is that one again?” and then can make it, well, an approximation anyway. They just want to get loaded and don’t really care after the second shot anyway. I have a few in my arsenal that will make you puke after a night of drinking and can whip them out for frat boys who don’t tip me. I offer those shooters as ones on the house as they leave hoping they feel the urge to puke while getting the blow job they will get from that drunk blond girl they have been hitting on all night.

Some friends show up and hang out. I clean and stock and clean and stock and wash glasses and stock and wash glasses. The night progresses and the eleven foot wide space gets more and more crowded. A fratish boy stands alone at the end of the bar holding two dollar bills. He is waving them frantically at me while snapping his fingers and yelling “HEY. I just want a draft. HEY. Over here. HEY. (snap, snap, snap, snap). HEY!” I am lining up 8 shot glasses and making shooters for some other people as I also reach into the cooler and grab two Pilsner Uriquels and so I am pretty fucking busy. And I hear him. Over the din his snapping fingers are like an arrow piercing through the darkness. I glare at him. He continues to snap and wave his two bucks at me. I try to smile and say, “I hear you man, hold your pants on. I am coming. I am busy. Hang on there….” He continues to harass me and says, ” JUST GET MY FUCKING DRAFT. I know Milke you know (manager..) and get my draft. All I want is a draft.” I stop what I am doing and go over with a draft glass. I take his two bucks as he says, “About time, christ, thanks.” I hold the glass out, spit into the bottom of it and walk over to the tap and draw his beer looking at him smiling the whole time. Most of the customers at the bar have stopped their conversations, pick up lines, small talk and evil plots to overthrow the world as this asshole has continued to snap his fingers at me. He, as it is obviously apparent, has never worked in food/beverage service before. I finish drawing his beer and set it down on the bar along with his two bucks and I say to him, “You know, thanks for waiting. This ones on the house.”

Everyone laughs at the bar and someone dares him to drink it if he is so thirsty. He blushes and scowls at me and walks away leaving the two bucks on the counter. I ring him up and turn around to my shooters I had not finished and ask the customer, “What color were those shooters supposed to be again?”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tyson Koska permalink
    August 4, 2008 7:11 pm

    What would have happened if the fratboy’s name was “Batman”?

  2. August 5, 2008 5:02 am

    are you writing a book? have I asked you this before?

    I love your memories, your writing. I feel like I am sitting at the bar cheering you on for spitting in his glass…

  3. Amy permalink
    August 6, 2008 2:44 pm

    dude that is the best story i have ever seen. make it into a book!

  4. Kate permalink
    August 8, 2008 10:13 pm

    oh that is just the kind of story i need to hear in august! you are such a badass! anyways, i think i will be living in baltimore this winter, as of octoberish. hopefully with a real live official j-o-b, but also looking forward to hanging out with y’all… hope your summer is not too hot and sticky! love, kate

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