As a bartender I encounter a plethura of unique individuals. There is one woman that I will never forget. She will be immortal in my memories. She sat at the end of the bar. The smell of life, a hard life, was more suffocating than the cigarette drooping from her exhausted lips. Her face and body weighed down by the earth as if she wanted to sink into the bar, melt into the very floor and disappear. She drank vodka cranberries, strong vodka cranberries. That made sense. A well vodka and cranberry juice- bitter, hint of sweetness, and cheap. An easy drunk. She occasionally played music on the jukebox. Country, old country. Country music recounting broken hearts and longing for the good ole days. Truly a woman entrapped in the past, but it was not entrapment for she did not desire to leave the past, but rather return to it. She only spoke to me to order drinks when her friends did not make the request themselves.
She spoke to me once to compliment me or as I saw it to insult me. She had asked how I had soo much confidence, “how can you have soo much confidence? I looked liked you and could never be as confident as you are.” She looked like me? Oh, she was not always thin I began to understand. How could I, looking the way I did, be proud of myself? Was I not ashamed of my body, my self? In awe that I was not only a bad ass motherfucking awesome bartender but also worked at a gym, but did not fit the stereotypical idea of those roles, she was baffled. She was astounded. Perhaps that she lived her whole life trying to love herself, but saw her body as the one obstacle only to discover it was not her body at all, but her mind allowing the poison,not in her glass but of those around her, to influence her. I was in shock of her investigation of my body and self love at first. I laughed it off and took a shot of american honey and continued my night. But even as I closed the register and locked up the bar her inquisitiveness followed me, echoed in my mind. I was not offended, but morose. Morose for a woman who lived her whole life unhappy and thankful that I have learned the lesson she learned tonight at only 24 years old. I do love myself and am the human incarnate of a paradoxical abyss. The contradictions flow through my blood and burst through my every pore. The world has created limits and boundaries but I will abort your boundaries. Everything you think I cannot be, I will become and I will be abrasive and unapologetic as I leave your borders in flames.