So, for my very modest vocation, I am a server. I enjoy the atmosphere, I enjoy when I’m getting my ass handed to me by a hungry crowd, I enjoy my manager cutting 2 servers in the middle of a rush that effectively doubles my section, though I bitch about it. (And I do.) I enjoy meeting new people every day of my life, and I enjoy hanging out with regulars who have grown accustomed to being waited on by a slightly English soccer fan displaced in modern-day Pittsburgh.
I get to make money flirting, being around gorgeous people (let’s face it, a lot of servers are hired for their physical appearance. I don’t know how I got hired, I’m aware that I’m a f**king chud…), and generally act like a sonic boom with a fleshy, flirty appetite that would make Caligula blush.
This is when I’m at work. I literally drive the better part of an hour to get from farm country to Cranberry, PA right outside of Pittsburgh, so I get to have a meditative drive to work, and a meditative drive back. I feel like those are times where, on the way to work I get pumped and start my routine of getting into game mode, and when my shift is done, I get to vent to the imaginary person sitting next to me and decompress so I don’t piss my family off.
Here’s the dilemma. I think if I weren’t a server, I would be more outgoing in my social life. When I’m home, I just want to be left alone. I want my books, I want my couch, I want my pajamas and I want my silence. As a result, my social life is reserved for people that I know won’t bring me too much drama, but they excite me. I have quite literally lost count of the number of times that I’ve turned down opportunities to hang out with people, just because I really don’t want to deal with people when I’m not being paid for it. There really aren’t many people that excite me.
Now, there are exceptions to this of course. My wife and daughter, my best friend Starke, my wife and I’s friend Sarah, Scott… There are exceptions to this (which is even funnier because I work with Scott), but for the most part these are people for whom I know will not bullshit me nor bring any additional drama into my life.
When I think about this, I come to the conclusion that I’m not anti-social, I’m just not user-friendly. I’ve become extremely picky about who I spend my time with outside of work. I’ve come to realize that I can’t bring myself to spend the only time I have on this planet with people whose only contribution to society is that they manage to always find something to complain about, and then spend hours doing this. I would rather be around people and discuss the stars, or dreams, aspirations, the way coffee smells, things we’d like to do before we die. I want to have alcohol-addled conversations at 3:00 in the morning about companies we’d like to start, things we’d like to do, then I want to get up the next morning and do these things.
I want to be surrounded by ideas, not complaints. I don’t want to be surrounded by more of the same, I want to be surrounded by truckloads of the divergent. I want people who are interesting around me when I’m not being paid. I want to be excited by words and actions, I want to feel like my life is one big directive motion of ambitious and unstoppable inertia, a victoriously failure of a thrill ride that might not go anywhere in the long run, but the ride would be f**king spectacular!
I want to sit under the stars on a blanket and talk about things that don’t exist, but should. I want to talk about books, ideas, love and why there aren’t enough of any of it to sustain life on this planet of idiot trolls. I want to swap raunchy and hilarious stories sitting at a booth of a bar, completely hammered.
I want to sit on the beach with someone who can just sit in silence and listen to the language of the waves, then get up the next morning and do what the waves told them to do, whatever that is. I want to hang out with someone who reads a book and then talks about it non-stop for hours at a coffee shop. I want to visit places I’ve never been, read books I’ve never heard of, make love to people I’ve just met and mean it with every single ounce of my f**king blackened, virginal soul.
I want people around me that live deliberately and suck out every meaning of the word “life” leaving nothing for those who are not astute enough to realize what they’re missing. I want people who are not guided by the television or reality television, instead, I want people around me that live their own realities and talk about their adventures loudly and with all the zeal of the newly converted. I want complexity within the simplicity, and simplicity within the complex. I want every single thing in my life to be one great big elegant engineering feat who’s design flaws are nothing but jewels in an otherwise perfectly symmetrical crown.
I want people to create things and wish things were created, I don’t want anyone around me who wants to settle, I want people around me who want to be what Homo sapiens were to the Neatherthals. I want people who aren’t ready to just sit down and march lock step behind the 24 hour news cycle and instead find their own views, and their own ways of life especially if those views and lifestyles fly in the face of modernity and morality and say to the world, “F**K OFF! I am who I am, and if you have a problem with it, come at me”, and then I want those views and lifestyles analyzed and evaluated, defended and offended, dissected, reflected, disemboweled and completely christ-f**k ripped apart, until something even more awesome and luminous replaces them.
I want people around me that see life not as one big f**king long matinee to sit through, but a great big, masterful act of subversive, clever playfulness. I hate to quote music, but, “THIS LIFE IS MORE THAN JUST A READ-THROUGH!”
I want people around me that fight tooth and nail for what they believe is right, provided those beliefs don’t come from the stupid talking points from some stupid talking head on the stupid, insipid talking box. I want people to raise their fists in protest, not in anger. I want people to use words as their weapons and not kill each other over different interpretations over something, but I do want them to fight with words over those same things. Then I want them to agree to disagree if one side does not “win”, then have a beer together. I want people around me that see the pursuit of knowledge as a viable reason to speak and listen.
I want people who are alive around me, and maybe that’s why I am seen as anti-social. Because I can’t seem to find any of those people. I feel like at any point in time, I am the only one who is alive. I feel isolated in a world where there is so much plenty, and so many people, because everyone is sitting down watching life go by instead of getting up and living.
I suppose it just so happens that living isn’t really user-friendly to people conditioned for the push button, instant gratification.
It’s not the goal, its the flicks of the ball that get you there. Taking a shot is just one more event on the way to the game eventually being over. Enjoy the game while you’re playing. Life is not televised, it will only be lived.
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