“I want to work as many days as you can give me,” said one of our more experienced servers. “When I’m off, I don’t really do anything.”
“So, could you go to the dentist for me?” I asked, laughing.
“Sure!” he replied, laughing.
“Could you run a billion loads of laundry for me?” I asked, winking.
“No problem,” he said.
“Could you run a vacuum through my place, too?”
“Yep, sure can,” he replied.
“Could you go check in on my kids at their colleges? Write them checks for me?”
“Yeah, if you’re buying!”
We laughed together at that one.
“Could you call all the friends I used to have who wonder if I still exist?” I asked, kind of laughing.
“Uh, yeah,” he said, kind of laughing back. “Just give me the numbers.”
“Yeah, just let them know I think about them all the time, every day, okay?” I asked, sort of smiling.
“Yeah, sure,” he replied, and then he bent his head to the glassware he was polishing.
The joke had run its short course.
I am not complaining.
I am actually thriving in my job these days. I am actually happy at my job these days.
What a difference a few weeks makes.
But the days at work still number six per week. And the hours logged still mean little time for little else.
When I read my email tonight, after too many days, I realized my friends and their families had dealt with much since I’ve been out of touch. I felt bad I hadn’t been even a phone call away to help.
I know this will change, and I am okay with it all.
I just miss my kids, and I miss my friends more than I realized.
My teeth, however, are perfectly fine for another few months!
And the laundry can always wait.