Saturday November 30 2013

Nothing But Blue Jazz by Richi Howard (Nov 30 2013)[i]

Waking up around 11 a.m.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese. Orange Juice.

All day shift at China Wok.

It's incredibly slow for business.

I've chosen to take a break from the electric screen today, at least at work on the down time. Instead I'm reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I can't believe a 13-year-old girl was capable of writing with such articulation and prose. It's an incredible piece of work. I can't wait to dig into it.

Mixed Nuts with Cranberries. Popped Potato Chips. Honey Black Tea.

The day goes on like a slug. Not many deliveries. But fortunately, the individual tips are generous, mostly $5 or $6.

Fiberful Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bar.


Delivering to The Residence Inn. I go to room 508 but no answer. Returning to the front desk I locate the customer. He's a jovial black man. He was confused and thought he had to wait there for the food. Then he says, "Why they send a guy, an ugly ole guy to deliver my food? Why they don't send a pretty girl?"

I snicker and apologize with a smile.

Him: "I'm just playin' witchoo. How much is it?"

I look at the ticket and keep the joke rolling, "Well, it just went up."

He cracks open with laughter. I make the exchange ($3 and some change tip) and as I'm walking out he adds, "And make sure they send a pretty girl next time okay?"

Me: "I will!"

Towards the last hour of my shift Ana shows up. She tags along on my deliveries. I find myself venting and sounding a little bitter, but not towards her. It bothers me sometimes that I impose my complaints onto her. I don't want to do that all the time. I want to be pleasant. But she understands.

After delivering the final order to Eden Roc Circle, and receiving a whopping $13 tip, I reconvene at home with Ana sharing our Garlic Sauce meals, mine with Tofu and Mixed Vegetables, hers with Fried Shrimp and Mixed Vegetables.


While she's chatting with Lo, Josh's friend, I take some stuff upstairs to my room. I come back down and place a few things that she left here a time ago: a cat book, a kid's book about a fox, and her black tights. I go back upstairs and hear Lo say bye to her. I think maybe she took something the wrong way because she walked herself to the car to leave. I chase her down and inquire about why she was about to leave without saying goodbye. The biggest part of it is she's just so worried about being a burden to me. Sometimes she reads between lines that aren't there.

I assure her, "You are never a burden to me. You're nothing but extra special goodness!"

It's late and I am eager to settle down alone and recharge. But I make sure she knows I was grateful for her visit to the restaurant and sharing dinner with her at the house.

Things get patched up later after I receive a string of Facebook messages from her. All these words are gold to me because she opens up dramatically through the written word as opposed to in person. In person there seem to be hidden barriers.

"I've been trying my best to remind myself everyday that I need to not allow fear to hold me down. Fear has been holding me down," she says.

I settle down in my bed watching some low-grade movie on Netflix and then off to sleep around 4 a.m. 

[i] Marker art by Richie.

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