Monday, June 2, 2014

Service Industry Night



Every Sunday at The Nest, all you have to do
is flash your bartending license to receive
fifteen percent off your drink order for
the entire evening. They’re lined up along the bar
talking about Little House on the Prairie, arguing about
whether Michael Landon was gay, their voices
booming and overlapping, interrupting 
on another, the tiny room echoing 
with raucous laughter and I’m glad they’re all 
having a good time though I envy
their camaraderie, am secretly jealous of 
their bland handsomeness, their vacuous attractiveness.
It reminds me of my own isolation, sitting here
alone in the corner, unable to pretend 
I have anything to say to anyone. Every once 
in a while one girl’s laugh trills 
higher and shriller than the rest,
the cry of an exotic bird whose only defense
is to irritate her enemies to death. I’m starting to grow sick 
of my own sour company, would prefer to insinuate myself 
into the midst of the cud-spewing herd
to escape for awhile my own misery loops,
to be distracted by banal banter about 
the difference between pool and billiards, about 
what the best Bruce Willis movie is, about whether
Jeffrey Dahmer was from Detroit or Chicago.
To let the talk drown out my own inner cacophony. 
But I don't belong in this bar, much less
this planet. At least not on Sunday nights.
I don't even work in the service industry.

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