Found List: Why I love my dumb, sweet cafe job

I wrote this list, which I found folded up in a catch-all box, on the back of a menu in June, 2013.  It’s banal and, today, it quiets the informed heat generated by reading painful news articles.  It quieted the parched landscape of parenting partner-less and heartbroken, back then, too.  I was just beginning to work outside the home.  Mme. Lu was 6 months old.

  • Unlimited free coffee
  • Witness to the regulars’ routines & particularities (intimate!)
  • The smell of freshly done & perfumed women
  • Reminds me that I’m not where I once was & am where I choose
  • Human emotion microcosm
  • Toni*
  • The books they read (Mary Oliver, Dog Songs; “Walking towards Heaven”)
  • Book clubs
  • Abuelas locas
  • Marty, who listens to his son-in-law on headphones while eating French rolls
  • Feeling 100% competent 95% of the time
  • Being required to smile for 8 hours
  • Heavy whipped cream

*Toni was a short lived, very dramatic, pathological liar who nearly got two of our kitchen staff fired by accusing them of sexual harassment.  She requested to be to be put on the list.  On Toni’s first day she showed up 45 minutes late and told us all a tale about witnessing a mugging and having a seizure.  On Toni’s last day she shouted “F*** you, you fat dyke!” at our manager before flipping off the dining room on her way out.



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