Something weird happened yesterday. Marlene came into my café with another woman. I know she meets with clients in her work as a small-time publisher, but this is the first time she has been here. They seem rather close so she might be an old friend. I do believe I’m feeling jealous. Someone else serves her before I get a chance so I have to pretend I’m not interested. But it’s hard as I really like Marlene.

The blog ‘Breakroom stories’ had a song called “Blowin’ smoke: a song about food service”. I could really relate to “Quit one day” meaning working as a waiter. I’ve already quit smoking though sometimes I dream about it, especially when my co-worker has been puffing away in her break. Somehow the smell of grease hangs around me and smoking would blow it away.

Marlene introduces me to her friend, Catherine, before they leave then invites me round after work. Of course I say ‘yes’.

So another shift to endure before I get to be with my beloved. Catherine haunts my thoughts as to where she fits in with Marlene. I’ve read about polyamory where you have several partners. I don’t think I want to share Marlene but I would respect her wishes. She’s 26 and I’m only 17 but I’m not quite a toy boy. Would we make love together or separately? Would I be expected to be with Catherine?

My head is doing me in and I’m making mistakes. I got the order wrong for the last customer and my boss wasn’t happy about having to discard one coffee and make another one.

‘Your girlfriend really puts you in a tizz, eh Michael? Snap out of it as we have an hour to closing up.’

I apologise yet again and hand over a fresh cappuccino. I then keep myself busy with the dishes out back trying to remember the words of the song. To no avail. What would I do if I don’t wait tables? I need to go to TAFE and learn a skill. Maybe I could still work here to pay my way. That’s my task for tomorrow morning. Ring around before work, see if I can do another skills preference test and go from there. I have too much going on in my life to stay focused but I would like to have Marlene to come home to.





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