Bartender

Write, redraft, abandon. Indoor living from my bedside is reminiscent of a time more sick, more disabled. My head knocks and bleeds and I am afraid that I will always be this way – slow, late to rise, early to sleep. I waste so many hours and still I am tired. A security radio outside crackles and reminds me of my increased responsibility – profit, targets, a set of keys, alarm codes. I am not ready, I am not the one. I am okay with shaking cocktails, cleaning plates, making coffee – because it doesn’t matter. But inputting data and sending emails and dealing with complaints – they feel real, and permanent. Something someone can chase up if it goes wrong. It feels like a mistake. I am afraid, too, that I will just get sick again and have to take time off to die on my own.

I am already so crushed under the weight of what I expect from myself. I want to be the youngest, the best, the first academic. I want to write so much and I want to see every inch of every country. I only work so that I can live in this city, so that I can go to California, so that I can live comfortably by the sea. Yet here I am – with responsibilities piled on that don’t relate to things that I personally want. I don’t know what to think. I am too tired.

I long for the days when sunshine broke through the bar windows and it started to feel like a glasshouse. Now we turn on the radiators, the overhead heaters, in some dumb attempt to counteract the 0 degree weather and make the customers feel comfortable. I long for watching beach-goers and tourists stroll by, I long for the jealousy I felt. I remember when I would go for picnics by the beach with my dog after work – now the wind rips at my skin, the waves pathetic yet stormy. I want to wake up at 7am, 9am, 12pm comfortably. I have to set fifteen alarms just to wake up at all and I feel like it would be different were there some sunshine outside.

I am sick of working, writing, never being content with what I come up with. I need a break, but I am trapped by term dates and rotas. On good days I feel like I am a writer, not a bartender. On bad days I know that I am neither.

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