Today someone asked me how my art is coming along, so that I can get out of Manndible.
Why do people keep thinking I would want to leave Manndible? I guess because it’s a cafe, they think I should automatically be unhappy working there. I mean, com’on, people are always unhappy in food service, right? Plus, it’s an undignifying job that puts us at the lowest end of the social totem pole. Even people working like slaves in cubic cells have it better than us!
Let me just say I don’t believe in these social-ranking fairy tales.
Here’s what I think: the social totem pole bullshit is a fairy tale that has the world by the balls and very few people are able to break free from it. We bow down to status and achievement like it’s the ultimate god and place our children on the altar to be sacrificed it. We then watch them grow up, maimed, unable to make a difference in the world.
Every day I see people, living obediently to their parent’s wishes. I also see the judgment that is held against me and those like me. We are a wild breed. Completely untamed. The strength of our wild energy would break the china in their fancy settings, so we should be kept out. (Indeed, we do break the china, but often with no remorse).
I am on earth to laugh, to play hard, and to live how I want to live while I’m getting where I am going. I am perfectly ok with the fairy tales that exist around me and what others may be thinking of me. Not a problem at all! I still think the people living them are beautiful, because people are beautiful no matter what. This doesn’t mean I want what they have; nor do I want to live their glamorous lives; nor do I want to leave Manndible.
To be very real, I like working at Manndible because I don’t have to fake who I am, and this is priceless–especially if you are a artist-rebel! Plus I love serving people. Sometimes I prefer to be serving than being the one served. There’s just something really wholesome and beautiful about it.
While I work, I wish for the love that I have in my soul to reach every customer, and I’m not being hypocritical when I say this. I wish the waves that carry the messages I secretly send arrive at their shores and let them know that they need to prove nothing. I wish for them to be happy in and of themselves, without having to hide behind their parent’s money and castle-like walls of the Ivy League.
I wish for myself to stay true to the ground that I stand on and let no winds move me (fierce winds do come!). When my heart is pierced open, I wish for myself to continue without abandoning my quest–the secret quest I have been on my whole life, which is to love the whole world.
Before arriving to Manndible, and even Ithaca, I had already been deeply broken. I’ve hidden my face in shame for all the things I could not do; I threw my plans on the ground hundreds of times; I told my quest to go to hell, and walked away from it all, just to find myself completing the circle and picking it all up again. Before I got to Manndible, I have gotten to what I thought was the end of my tunnel, and found no light there. I had to force the light to came on inside of me, or I would die. I glowed in the darkness, and then I realized that the light would always emerge from me! With this, I found my path again. But, life, like Snow White’s jealous mother, has set herself to break my heart again and again, then turn around and blame me and my wildness for it. How many mirages must I believe in before I realize they’re all images built with the pixels of a lie?
But my quest is to love the whole world. There’s goodness even in the lie-pixels! So I keep smiling, I keep serving, I keep opening my heart. No matter how I am judged, I commit to withholding judgment. I cannot be broken again like I have been; this battle I can win!
To the ones who are wondering why I’m working at Manndible, I should tell them, “to open your eyes”. To those who don’t give a damn either way around, I will sit and have a drink with them and feel my free self soar! There is nothing better than this. Nothing at all!