…are only slightly exaggerated. (With apologies to Mark Twain.) But as is the case in any small town, this one’s coconut telegraph has been abuzz with all kinds of possibilities and probabilities about my past, present and future.
“I heard you are leaving for D.C.” insisted a customer last week at job two.
I replied that I had, indeed, visited D.C. for a long weekend, but that I was, as they could clearly see, tending their bar as I did every Wednesday evening.
“When we heard your boyfriend had left town,” said one of my regulars at job two, “We all agreed it could only mean one thing–someone got caught cheating.”
I just shook my head. “No, no,” I half smiled. “Nothing at all like that.” I am sure he did not believe me. I am equally sure no one at job one or two would believe that my great guy suffered a Keys implosion and simply had to go.
“So you got a job in Lauderdale to be closer to your boyfriend!” said a woman regular at job two.
This one was closer to the truth. “Thought I had a job up there,” I told her, “But it didn’t work out. I’m staying put here in the Keys.”
What I didn’t tell her was how I had thought the Lauderdale person who had contacted me and said he wanted to hire me had the ultimate say in the matter. Instead, I had to go through four friendly but grueling interviews with his bosses for a job I honestly thought and repeatedly said I could handle. Sadly, my honesty about my weak number-crunching experience quashed the job possibility altogether.
So much for honesty.
I also didn’t tell this woman regular at job two about how I had been extremely honest with my manager at job one, explaining that I likely had a job offer in Lauderdale, was uncertain of the start date, and I would understand if he wanted me to give notice or just cover my shifts until I knew for sure.
“Oh, no, don’t quit! We love you here, the customers love you here, and we want you to stay!” he exclaimed. Kind of nice to hear. “Just let us know what’s up as soon as possible, and thanks for covering your next few shifts in case you do need to move up there on short notice.”
I told him I should know in a couple of days. But when the couple of days turned into nine and he hadn’t heard from me, he wrote me off the schedule. That I called him the moment I heard I didn’t have the Lauderdale job didn’t matter. “We’ll call you if we need a backup bartender. Thanks.”
So much for feeling the love.
Now, job two is both job one and two, or, more accurately, my only job. This is probably for the best. I was stretched pretty thin.
I have to move in a few days because I can’t afford to stay where I am on my own. I have to move to a tiny, cute place a few blocks away that has no kitchen or laundry appliances. I view my soon-to-be landlord’s pricey rent for a place with no kitchen or laundry appliances almost reasonable, because he doesn’t require a lease or first, last and security money. I guess he used to house his visiting guests there, or something. But, for the foreseeable future, this tiny, cute, appliance-less place will be home, and my newly purchased countertop convection oven, dorm-sized fridge, and a hot plate will have to do.
So much for the basics.
My great guy is back at a job he once held and liked off the Rock, one he had before he was sent to the Keys in another capacity. He found a cheaper tiny place than the one I am moving to–with a kitchen and laundry and even a pool. I will visit when I can. He will visit the Rock when he can. For now, it’s the best we can do as we contemplate the individual lives we must revamp on our own as we stay open to what the future may hold for us together.
For reasons quite foreign to me, I am somewhat comfortable with this latest lot in my life. I am enjoying my extended periods of daily solitude that are offset by busy nights at work. It is a simpler way–or will be, once my billionth move in three years is complete–and I had no idea until it was foisted upon me, that I need this quiet simplicity.
So much for career-change angst, multiple-job burnout and relationship worries. I tend a local bar in the Keys. I have two dogs who make me laugh. I have kids who visit and far-away best friends who call.
That is so much.