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Guest Writer

A bitter bitch like me
Barista zapatista
by Haras Mehwingmay

The cherry blossoms have begun and the sky makes us all seem more pale. But the greens don't look so green now that the gray in the sky is drying up.

ou look tired," says the waiter, and I agree that I am. Yet I have slept all day; work will do that to you: deflated hands smelling of bleach, water and tomatoes, rough to the touch. Crepe batter and espresso grinds permanently stuck under my nails.

"What'll it be?" says the waiter and, with a sudden enthusiasm, I say whiskey.

I had missed most of the evening at work, only to catch people at the crest of their drunkenness. Now I drink so slow, 'cause I'm sober. Lovely boys skulk everywhere.

Of course I look tired, running around all night so some asshole and his date can share a cup of coffee and a piece of cake but not say thanks or even tip.

Yes I'm tired; yes I'm always tired.

At least I tip well, very well, even when it isn't the old hippie at the bar across the street. Even when it is a bitter bitch like me. A bitter bitch that will drink her tips at the end of the night.

I take a look around at all the people so absorbed in conversation and wonder if anybody sees me sitting here alone, wondering what is wrong with that girl in the corner: "So they are all in love with me." I shift as a young med student orders a conpana. Pretentious order, not even on the menu …

I could be with friends right now, but don't feel like it. One more person talking and wanting something could send me over the edge. That is what serving people has taught me. Everybody wants something and only some are grateful when they get it.

The ungrateful ones don't know what it's like to not get what they want, maybe. I would like to think that those who know what they want are cursed in some way. In my hypocritical way I want this fairness, like everyone.

I look tired and I'm not wearing any makeup, which makes me look five years younger and blander than all the other ladies my age who don't leave the house without. Fill out the proper forms, lease cars and finish college.

Unlike them I did not do any of those things; hell, I didn't even shower today. I didn't even finish community college.

I just chuckle and say I'm a lesbian (why no makeup) and on sabbatical (why no school). But I am afraid. If only you knew how I split in two on an almost daily basis ...

But the cherry blossoms explode so suddenly into pink shock against the gray sky. The candle in the window is flickering and the people prattle around me. I am laughing only too quietly, barely able to sit straight, or stare for too long.

On the rocks, I let everything become a droning blur.

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