Still not feeling well. Wake up and write for a bit. Head upstairs to lay down and the doorbell rings. Troy beats me to the door. A small box sits on top of a huge box. For me. From Mom. I open the smaller box and inside is a red tree skirt! How?? I text Mike right away. Did my Mom say something to you about buying a tree? “No. Haha.” Well I just got a tree skirt from her. “Hahaha oh man awesome I was going to buy one.” I proceed to open the big box. Wow. It’s a tree. Granted, it’s fake, but I have been talking about a tree for so long I guess Mom just took it upon herself to make sure I had one. “She had no faith in my Christmas spirit.” Well, Michael, I was beginning to have no faith, either.
I feel like I can’t really do anything. It’s like all I want to do is close my eyes but I can’t sleep. There’s this constant tickle in the back of my throat keeping me awake. I shower and make a bowl of soup. There’s no cable, so Netflix has become my best friend. I go to the section “Holiday Favorites.” No time to watch a movie, so I turn on the Christmas episode from My So-Called Life. Remember that show? I think I didn’t like back when it was on, which means Sarah probably loved it. In later years I started to realize how awesome it was. I have to pause it because my eyes keep closing. Finally, I get up to leave for work.
Call Mom when I pull up to work. This has become routine. I always get here early and it seems I always have something to tell her or ask her. Even though we’ve been talking almost every day she says “I love you” every time she hangs up. This is not my mother. She doesn’t say it unless she knows she’s not going to talk to me or see me for a while. I guess living across the country changes things. Dad, on the other hand. Goodness. He never used to say it either. I don’t even know if he realized it, but as soon as Aunt Jody died, Dad made sure to say “I love you” every time we hung up with each other. It’s cute, but sometimes unreal. I can remember one time when I was living home – so seeing him every day – I called him during the day while he was working to ask him something. When will you be home? “Ummm probably an hour.” OK, see you then. “OK, love you.” Yea, Dad. I’m going to see you in 60 minutes. I love you too.
Walk into Lilly’s. I know I just started here, and I haven’t been paid, and I’ve been frustrated with things already – but I really don’t dread coming to work like I have in so many other places. Work is work, but there’s no nervousness here, no feeling of getting in trouble if I do something wrong. It’s nice. Francis walks by me. Big smile. Very happy. “Hello Lindsay, you are working for someone?” Remember, thick French accent. Hi Francis, yes, I’m working for Esme. Another big smile. “Good.” He’s so nice. There’s a holiday party on Sunday and they need me to make a few holiday cocktails. I made samples last night of an espresso martini and a really strong eggnog (if you’re going to drink all those calories, you might as well get a nice buzz off one of ’em). I start cleaning behind my bar. Whenever you work in a bar, it’s not disrespectful to call it ‘your bar’. That means you take pride in it, which I do. I go in the kitchen, asking for windex, soap, and a rag. Miguel asks me, “What for?” To clean the bar. “Oh!” Obviously, this is something new. I come into the kitchen later and Francis starts talking to me. “I am so happy you are here, Lindsay. Are you madame or mademoiselle?” Oh, merci, mademoiselle, s’il vous plait. I really said, oh, thank you, mademoiselle, please…I’ll get all the French in next time. “Finally, a professional.” Damn right, Francis. I am a professional. I feel better than I did last night. At least what I’m doing is not going unnoticed.
I’m setting up when a guy walks in. “Are you open?” I hate when people come early. I know, that’s so unprofessional of me. I’m in the ice station and he kind of sneaks up on me. Well we open at 5:30. You can hang out if you want. Shaun Patrick turns out to be totally cool. He sits at my bar and doesn’t mind that I’m still setting up. I’m chugging pint after pint of hot tea. He tells me about this stuff, ‘Throat Coat’, a kind of tea, that he lives by. I’ll have to try it. His ‘lady friend’ Heather is coming. He asks if he can use the ‘clicker’ to change the TV. I make fun of him for both comments. Are you from 1950? “Well she’s not my girlfriend, but she’s more than a friend. And what would you rather me call it, a remote control?” Well, remote would be fine. Nerd. Heather arrives, and she’s awesome. It’s a slow night, so I spend most of the time talking to these two very cool people. Shaun asks what I think of the people here. Well, so far everyone I’ve met has been really cool. “Oh man, yea but are they fake or real?” Well, I have a tendency to believe in the good in people if they’re nice. He’s laughing at me. “Oh, you’re naive.” Maybe I am.
At 9pm, Tropez tells me to leave. Really? “Well, you yelled at me last night, so…” Tropeeeez. I wasn’t yelling at you. He just laughs. “Make sure you check the schedule to see when your working. I just changed it.” OK. I go upstairs. It says New Years’ Eve I am on to barback. What??? No. Not OK. I come downstairs with my whole, hands-on-hip deal. Uhh Tropez, yea, I looked at the schedule. New Years’ Eve you have me on to barback? Laughter. “Oh yea? No, no, no. You bartend. You come in at 8 and close. Good?” How does he do it? I melt every time I talk to this man. Yes, sounds good.
Get home early, which is nice. Mike is still awake. We stay up for a little catching up and then go to bed together. Sounds simple, but doesn’t happen with us most nights. We’re always on opposite schedules. It’s always freezing so I love jumping under the covers to cuddle up. We lay together. “I’m so lucky to have you.” Pull away from him. Why’d you just say that? “I’ve just been thinking about it.” Squeeze Mike a little tighter and fall asleep in his arms. Or, at least, try to. I’m probably awake for another two hours.
*Monsters of Men