Exercise 2 – Imperative

Roll pathetically out of bed.  Stumble across the room without requiring eyes to open.  Turn off alarm.  No, don’t hit the snooze.  Turn it off.  Drag eyelids up, one at a time.  Curse the darkness still peeping through the windows.   Pull clothes out of the drawer.  Hope they match.

Crawl into the shower.  Wash hair.  Enjoy hot water.  Try to remember if hair has been washed.  Rinse and repeat.  Towel off.  Climb into clothes.  Pull hair back.  Apply various layers of makeup, three pairs of earrings and Celtic necklace.

Drag into the kitchen.  Hit every light on the way in.  Warm up yesterday’s coffee in the microwave.  Burn toast.  Contemplate the irony of burning toast before scooping up keys, locking the door and heading off to open the restaurant…diner.  Crank engine on.  Crank window down.  Crank music up.  Judge level of alertness.  Switch station from easy listening to hard rock.  Sigh.  Put car in gear.  Ruminate on the joys of teenage “summers off.”

Drive the three miles, drumming the song beats on the wheel.  Pull into the empty parking lot.  Leave the car.  Walk back to the car to turn off the lights.  Fumble with keys.  Open the door.  Turn on all the lights.  Take down chairs.  Start up griddles, deep fryer, cash register.  Fill up both coffee machines: one regular one decaf.  Roll eyes at decaf.  Ponder the difference between diner and restaurant.

Check clock.  Prepare food in the back.  Wrap silverware.  Turn on the television.  Waffle between “Dr. Phil” and “Price is Right.”  Settle on the news.

Check clock.  Pour a cup of coffee.  Watch news.  Despair at current social conditions.

Check clock.  Turn on outside sign.  Flip sign from “closed” to “open”.  Greet bleary coworkers trudging in through the back door.  Offer them coffee.

See the first customers pull in with a blue car, one headlight out.  Paste happy smile onto face.  Seat them.  Ask for their drink orders.  Comment on the absent headlight.  Assure they have their menus.  Bring drinks – two milks, a coffee, two ice waters – and ask for orders.  Scribble short-hand hieroglyphs to recall orders, and scurry to the back.  Note continuous blank stares of coworkers and lack of movement on their part.  Sigh.  Begin preparing food.

Rinse and repeat.

Check clock.  Note lull in crowd.  Hope for a break.  Construct elaborate scheme in mind to grab a slow five minutes to run to the restroom, wipe off a counter, and maybe sit.  Hear the annoyingly cheerful bell on the door.  Sigh.  Erase thoughts from mind.  Consider letting Neecy take this customer.  Peek out to the front.  Recognize a regular.  Frown.  Observe he doesn’t look well, something on his mind.  Search for word: sad, dejected, distraught.  Tell Neecy never mind and walk to the front.

Try to be cheerful.  Pat his shoulder.  Note the lines etched in his face, the dark circles under his eyes.  Speak a few words.  Ask a few questions.  Read between the lines of his answers.  Nod sympathetically.  Go to retrieve his coffee.  Try to offer some comfort.  Reflect that life, all too often, will take hold, chew up, spit out, and crush: rinse and repeat.

– S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on April 17, 2012.

2 Responses to “Exercise 2 – Imperative”

  1. I think I can guess for this one – but you need to tell us what the exercise rules are for each of these.

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