Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heaven to Hell in a Handbasket wrapped with a Pretty Red Bow

Okay, so maybe my week hasn't been quite so dramatic as the subject line, but nearly.  

I haven't felt much like writing over the last week.  Maybe I should rephrase that.  I did feel like writing but my body has been on near shutdown starting the moment I get off work.  I think it's a combination of readjusting my schedule, the serious lack of sleep and the duress from last week's weather.  This time last week, I was sleeping in my car.  Now, I get up at 3:15am, go to work by 4am and am off by noon.  By that time, I am so unbelievably exhausted that I can barely keep my head up.  I make a cup of tea, I lay down on my couch in my new apartment and watch my flatscreen HD TV until I am prompted to move (I have a love/hate relationship with television, similar to that of a junkie with their junk who wants to quit).  I forgot how difficult it is to stand on hard floors for 8 hours at a time.  I figure if the women I work with can manage to do it without complaining, I can manage, but at the end of the day, I am nearly cripple.

Work has managed to take over my time and reason for being here.  In the back of my mind, I knew it would.  I can't take a job and not give it my all; it's just not within me no matter how much I wish it was.  I found myself on my hands and knees yesterday scrubbing baseboards and I am only making just above minimum wage.  I don't even scrub the baseboards at my own house, apartment, tent, car.  The weather and this work has turned this sanctuary into just another place that is only a nice place to visit.  A man said to me the other day that a rainy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at home.  Apparently he wasn't here last week when the wrath of God came tearing the walls nearly down all around, and apparently he hasn't met the locals to learn what life on the island is really like.

You are where you are supposed to be.  That sounds like a little piece of mind I would say to someone else struggling with their place in the time but instead someone reminded me of it just today.  I believe I was drawn to this cafe for work probably because I needed solid walls around me.  It has also a good reminder of what exactly my path is and what it is not, and that is listening to myself and not letting fear respond putting me in a situation where I don't want to be is the way.  The women I work with are teaching me a lot about life.  Anyone who thinks they're above working a minimum wage job, especially in the food service industry should try it out before judging.  It is neither easy nor rewarding, but I will elaborate on this more at a later date.  And how I want to tell their stories, individually (but I am just so tired)...

This place thrives on tourism, and when the season is over, so is the work, so most people on this island have to thrive on the pay they get for 8 months out of the year.  The women I work with go on unemployment for the rest of the year unless they want to move away from their homes to find jobs elsewhere.  If I owned this business, I would turn it into a co-op and make it a year-round business where the people who work here (mostly locals) share in the profits.  They could package and distribute their goods through the winter months in order to keep people employed.  If only it were about the people instead of the profit, but we are living in America, afterall.

My zest for writing has been replace by exhaustion so this brief summary for the week is all I have in me at the moment.  At 7pm, in 1/2 hour, I will need to go to bed in order to get in 8 hours of sleep before I go to work.  If only I could make that happen...

This morning, I slept in until 6:45am and I felt like I was living the high life.

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