Sunday, 27 May 2018

FIVE MINUTE FICTION: WAITRESS

Regular DREAMCATCHER blogger Emma shares a powerful piece of writing inspired by her own struggles...

I can’t believe it’s been four years since I first started writing for “Dreamcatcher".  I will forever be grateful to Cathy and the platform she and this blog has given me. Over the years, people have told me how my advice and features has helped them get through rough patches in their lives. This is something that really gives me a sense of purpose. However, to commemorate my fourth year with Dreamcatcher, I wanted to write something raw and honest. As a writer, I sometimes struggle to write about my own feelings, especially directly in the form of a feature which is what I typically write. That is to me the beauty of English, through some means there is always a way to convey how you’re feeling. This is a poem called “Waitress” which is about my ongoing struggle with depression and anxiety. Something which I kept a secret for many years... 


Ding.
In walks another customer.

I keep my back turned.
Praying I won't be noticed.
I thought it would be a quiet day.
It has been a quiet day.

“Miss," says the customer.
"Please turn around; I only want your attention for a minute."

I breathe deeply and try and relax.
Hoping I'll turn around and they will be gone.

“Miss," the customer says again.
“I’ll only take a minute of your time."

I turn around and reluctantly walk towards the customer.
Surprise, surprise, they’ve already made themselves at home.
They've been here before.

“What will it be?" I ask,
But I already know the answer.

“The usual," the customer says,
“I think I'll go for ...
Your confidence, your sense of purpose with a side of your self-belief.
Oh, before I forget, I'll substitute your positive thoughts for negative, uncomfortable ones, I'm sure you won't mind, you let me the last time."

I nod and walk away.
What's the point in arguing?
They'll just keep asking until they get what they want.

After I bring the customer what they've asked for,
They mercilessly ravish it in whole.
Swallowing every bite, they grow stronger as I grow weaker.

As I'm about to close up.
I feel them behind me, their breath on my neck.
A warm tingling sensation that makes me nauseous.
“Any chance of one for the road?" the customer enquiries.

“I don't think I've anything else to give you," I assure them.
“Very well then, until next time," the customer mumbles.
As they finally leave they turn around and say, “Oh of course, your tip, the usual rate I assume? Don’t forget Miss...”

“That I am nothing and of course, that I look fat today .... I know," I say before they get a chance to.

I take a minute after they leave.
When the place is empty, I can think clearly and finally close up.
When the place is empty, I think maybe I don't have to quit just yet.
I’m haunted by how angry the management would be with me. If I moved on from here.
Just as I begin to get a sense of reality, I hear a sound that makes my body ache and head throb.

Ding.
In walks another customer.

CATHY SAYS:
Thank you for sharing this powerful, personal poem, Emma - I love it, and I think others will connect also! Have YOU struggled with anxiety and depression? COMMENT BELOW if you'd like to share...

2 comments:

  1. amazing poem!

    please check out my brand new blog at

    https://cocoachats.blogspot.com/

    many thanks! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. It took me a while to realize what this meant because I am autistic, but now I see! This is such a heart-breaking short story. Believe in yourself! ♡

    ReplyDelete

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