A Useless Social Analysis You Never Asked For

           As of late I have taken to randomly asking my work friends deeply invasive questions. Not because I want to know the answer, more so because their reaction to my boldness is often more telling than their response to my inquiry.

              On one occasion upon arrival to my waitressing job at a golf and country club, I sidled up to our busser and simply asked “Jordan do you consider yourself successful?”

              He sighed and started. “Well if we’re talking a big picture…”  

              To which I shushed him as I did not want to know, in case his answer would make me sad.

              Next I wandered up to our bartender. “Kevin.”

              “Salome! What’s up”

              “Do you go to raves so often because you enjoy the music and the dancing or are you running from something deeper?”

              He was in the middle of garnishing an old fashioned and only faltered slightly. He calmly finished his orange twist, dropped it in the beverage and stared at me blankly for a moment as the peel settled comfortably amongst the burgundy hued ice cubes. “I would think most people are running from something deeper.”

              I nodded. “that’s fair” I had said. I turned toward the server station to find my next victim and ran into my manager tacking up the weekly schedule. I immediately whipped around to find a productive use of my time that my manager would approve of.

              Later that evening I was polishing silverware in the back when another one of my coworkers joined me in remedying the water spotted forks and spoons. I waited until we settled into a comfortable rhythm of steam, wipe, sort; steam wipe sort.

              “Tab”

              “Yeah?”

              “Do you think your fear of dying is rooted in the fact that this could be all there is or the possibility of what could come after?”

              Another coworker was eating Pub Mix in the corner and choked out a “Salome what the hell?”

              I ignored him.

              “I guess I’m more scared of something coming after. If I come back like this I’m going to come after whoever’s in charge” she had said after she finished laughing.

 

              Sometimes I did not have to go out of my way. One staff member is a disgruntled slightly racist and homophobic elderly woman who has been employed at the club for way to long. Janet considers herself highly traditional in American values. She has been nicknamed the Trump of the golf club.

              One afternoon I was making Shirley Temples in the server station when Janet walked in and started raving about the box of votives, as they were apparently in the wrong spot. Another server joked “damn Janet do you kiss your husband with that mouth?”

              To which she responded “We’ll he’s dead so I don’t”.  

            Throughout the day I noticed that most people though caught off guard were not too hesitant to respond truthfully and honestly; which I am yet unsure whether to feel alarmed or refreshed.

              See, I like the idea that as a generation we’ve all pondered the deeper throes of success, death, and emotional stability to the point that when ambushed with inquiries it’s not inconceivable - as much as it’s simply inappropriate timing – to ask and have an answer. I am also alarmed that to ask and have an answer merely constitutes a laugh and a flippant tone. Maybe we’re too numb to the gravity or maybe we’ve faced it enough times to not fall into an excisional crisis when comment is required.

          I’m not sure.

         Yet I am sure about one thing and one thing only. I highly doubt Janet’s deceased husband would have given a rats ass about the location of the votives and I don’t think Janet should either. The end.

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Salome Solomon