I’m not sure about the rest of my world, but when I meet a new human being, I meet them under the predication that they have existed before our eyes have met and will continue to exist thereafter (the extent of ‘after’ being undetermined for reasons to which I am not privy). In the topsy-turvy world of retail, a regretful world teeming with holistic egos, lesser-thans, and self-perpetuating, self-inflicted humiliation, there lieth capitalism’s firm psychosomatic foundation of manipulation, favoritism, and greed. I spend each day walking the fine line between convincing strangers that I am to be trusted with an array of problems–varying from recipe suggestions to consolations for a lost loved-one–while simultaneously not ruining their day by using the wrong inflection in a greeting, or smiling too similarly to a politician, or using correct grammar, an ingredient that some complain makes for a pretentious stew.
On the other side of the fence splays an umbered pasture and a dilapidated though impenetrable fortress on whose wrought iron gates there hangs a well-worn wooden sign, inset with chubby yellow letters: “Open Door Policy”. This farcical notion, a humor so cheap labor’s budget fears no hemorrhage, is guarded by a numb-green steel door. Halt! Do you know the flimsy metal keypad’s five digit code? Please knock instead and, if we’ve nothing better to do, we answer.
Often heard in junior high history courses and seen on dry History Channel documentaries bearing reenactments and animated red arrows on pale maps of World War II-era Europe, Hitler lost the war, but only because he fought two fronts: communist Russia and the democratic West. A morbid and unjustifiable comparison to some, I nevertheless suffer a similar fate. My ego and delightful sarcasm shape up to be my weakness against an army of hundreds patrons and a handful of walking power trips.
I spend my days–nearly every day–in the company of ignorance made flesh, a single entity, equal parts espionage and abomination. On one front, democracy en masse, in denial; on the other, fascist communism–an extreme comparison, however, warranted.
Make no mistake, in the eyes of everyone else, I live and pay with my mental and emotional accounts, a reserve fast dwindling. I work for the very people I serve: a cache who, without regret, slight my entirety, all the while praising their own deceptive tones.