There are days when I live in what has been

When I worked as a catering waitress, it was all weddings, all the time. I listened to many  a tipsy toast and watched quite a few first dances that way. For a serial eavesdropper, the job was sort of a dream come true.

One evening, drink tray tucked beneath my arm, I recall crying as I watched a new couple shuffle around the ballroom to Ed Sheeran’s song “Perfect.”

Was it the magnitude of  their love that moved me, or did the song choice make me feel desperately sad? Feelings are hard to name sometimes. I imagined them going home, cuddling up under an obnoxiously large Live. Laugh. Love. sign, and posting sappy open letters to one another on their Facebook statuses. Not only did I think about love, but I also thought “I am an asshole.” Who was I to say there was anything insincere about it? (Pssst: 26, single-as-fuck, and in love with Manhattan Bagel).

Someone had an accident that night. I will never know whether it was a distracted toddler, or an ex-sorority-sister who had twerked a little too hard during “Wild Thoughts.”

I was polishing silverware when I found out. One of the older servers, on dessert duty at the time, burst through the kitchen doors and declared:

“I’m gonna throw up in my gaddamn mouth.”

“What’s up?”

“Somebody … shit… on the dance floor.”

The dish-washer cut the water and the cleaner stopped mopping.

“Excuse me, what?”


She marched out the back door to take a moment to herself on the stoop where servers smoked or sent Snapchats.

News spread quickly. The shift manager was soon spotted walking out of the kitchen with a bottle of bleach and a blue plastic glove, yelling:

I’m gonna fuckin’ kill myself.”

I laughed so hard it hurt and the cleaner shook his head in the way one does when they are no longer surprised.