Excerpt #02

This is taken directly from a very short, 1200-word story I wrote for my creative writing class last semester.

I dare not publish the whole thing because this shit is basically autobiographical and I am not ready to admit to the world where I (specifically) got my inspiration-slash-foundation from. If anyone knows my story, the omitted paragraphs will definitely give it away, and I don’t want that. No. You don’t get to know this story began with you. Not yet. Not today.

You don’t even clock in thirty hours a week at the restaurant you work at. Sure, you can make bank on tips during weekends, but at what cost? You hardly have the energy to practice your writing at the end of a 12-hour day. Your how-to books on writing are all over the floor. You can’t even afford a new bookshelf. Your mail is on the floor too, right beside the take-out box from that Chinese place you ordered from last night. Is that a stain on the carpet? Has it been always there? And what is that smell? Is it coming from the garbage or the fridge? Your place looks like a dump—oh, honey, just face it. Your life is a goddamn mess! Fix it!

See, now compared to you, his new girl has it all together. Maybe that’s why they’re getting married next year. You’ve let yourself go, and you’ve been living like a teenager because you’re scared of actually acting like an adult. For fuck’s sake, you’re twenty-six. It’s time to grow up!

As for you, you need more than a part-time job to pay for the new stuff you should be getting. Not even a full-time job. A full-time supervisor position at Lucy’s won’t cut it. It’s just the same shit every single day: you clock in, greet a table, run drinks, run food, cash them out, and the cycle repeats—you even use the same stupid spiel to all your tables—until it’s time to clock out and feel miserable about your sad little job. If you end up supervising, you’re going to have to be responsible for the rest of the staff too. You don’t want that responsibility! You could barely take care of yourself when you get weeded during the dinner rush. You don’t even care about that job anymore. You need a career. Didn’t you want to work for a magazine, Devil Wears Prada style? Sure, you’ll be running coffee every day, doing some tedious fact-checking, or ordering some office supplies for the people actually doing real writing or editorial work, but it’ll be okay. You’ll be at the bottom of the professional ladder, but it’s the ladder you want to climb.

It will be tough, but at least you won’t hate work every day anymore. It won’t be a dead end job of asking well-dressed people if they would like some wine with their 40-dollar steak. Imagine: this time, you’ll be on the other side. You’ll tell the sweet, enthusiastic server that you’d prefer a fuller bodied red, but only a six ounce because you’ll need to get back to work after lunch. You wouldn’t mind eating out for lunch because your boss will be paying. Cheers to a free meal and a full-time job that actually lets you earn enough to start up a proper savings account!

You’ll realize that adulting isn’t so bad. The fear you feel is your anticipation to kick off your life and hit the goal. You’ll have a big girl job, one that has a two-week paid vacation that you can use to spend time at the beaches of Malta just like Queen Elizabeth did when she was in her 20s. Didn’t you just binge-watch the entire season of The Crown while you were Netflix-and-chilling by yourself? You won’t ever be the Queen of England, but you can try to vacation like one. Imagine: the soothing sound of the waves will spark your eagerness to continue the short story that you’ve been putting off for years. You’ve got this. You know what you’re doing.

Now, get out there and do it.

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