What do you do when you get home? When your eyes open in the morning, the afternoon, the evening. What is your schedule? When you rise do you turn over and kiss a loved one, two, three? Are you awoken by a child’s foot in your ribs? Do you rise without a word to another that other human in your bed and feel almost instant resentment? Do you embrace them and say “good Morning”, “salaam”, “guten tag”? Do you let them sleep in and start the coffee or head to the shower? Kick out the fling from the night before? Sneak out of a strangers bed while quietly searching for your pants? Is there a pooch or feline there snuggled in there? Do you sleep in your bed or find yourself on your couch with the TV still blaring? Do you have a bed to sleep in or a roof over your head? Do you wake up looking at the ceiling of a cell dreaming of your family on the outside?
The point I’m making is that everyone has a different day, even if they seem similar or aligned in some weird way they simply aren’t. Our minds are these odd, old sponges. They want to retain and grow, but they sometimes are overfilled and packed taut with strange new germs. Where is all of this coming from? Well as someone who has been single on and off for what seems like forever, with an eclectic trail of exes and lovers, you start to focus on other people’s situations. How their gears turn, so to speak. How they treat other humans, themselves, how they physically carry their own being.
Bartending will help you get the mindset of a criminal profiler. You discover things about people that shock and amaze you, but at the same time make so much sense that it’s as though you’ve known it forever. Strangers tell you their secrets, lots of them. Sometimes you wish they never had, sometimes you’re so grateful for that moment with them. some of them die, the day after you serve them and share a laugh. You start to question things, have thousands of passing thoughts like “No one knows I ate an entire block of cheese when I got home last night” or what happened between the couple that thinks no one noticed them leave together or people’s random mutterings. Odd things to friends they think others can’t overhear, like how they just washed a cum stain off their shirt in that bathroom, that they didn’t notice was on there when they left the house or how sometimes they truly hate their children. I’m talking EVERYTHING people. The human race is a fascinating beast. What we then see is that bars house, feed, contain and monitor, then release that vulnerable beasts into the night.
Don’t get me wrong, money is fine and the entertainment is worth it, but it wears heavily on ones brain, not to mention body. Most bartenders have drinking problems and sleep issues. They are expected to party with the clientele at all times and patrons can get angry and mean on occasions where they want someone to cheers and you are not willing to. People lay heavy mental loads on you daily and then it is up to you on how to process it. They say when you leave work, to leave your work there. Bartending is an odd version of that, however you now know these people almost better then they know themselves. Their limits. Their schedules. Their fears. Outside of this safe room, they return to real life, you go on as well, but knowing all their confessions. For me personally it’s a heavy weight to bear. nearing 10 years in bars in different cities and I still hear new, incredible stories, horrifyingly offense jokes, love between humans thats sloppy and honest; I take it all on, trying my best to do so without judgment. We all judge, so I have my opinions but as these moments grow I begin to turn inward.
I’ve realized how many years of my life I’ve woken up and said hi my cat or said nothing at all. That my voice will be rough when I get to work because I’ve gone all day without speaking out loud until I get there. How many times I’ve walked home alone at 4:30am, unlock the door and sigh loudly in relief that I’m done until tomorrow. How many “holy shit” moment I’ve had strictly in my own head. We forget that we are all processing this differently sometimes. We all have 24 hours in a day. Once in a while, probably twice a year I’ll get overwhelmed by this feeling. The impending loneliness mixed with the urge to be alone and satisfaction you achieve from it. The juxtaposition of the permanent feeling single life, even when you aren’t.
When all of these variables float around you, it’s second nature to feel suspended in it, letting the routine take over. Every morning I’ve been attempting to revisit this, lightly and briefly, but to assess where I’m at. The defense will always be my go to, relying on feelings of being misunderstood or outcasted to accept personal criticism. Working forward from this, I try to remind myself to practice patience as often as I can. We need constant work on ourselves to better the situation for everyone around us, but sometimes I can sound like just a straight up bitch. So, “How was your day today?”