elegant email

i mean, something something about your job defining who you are in a capitalist society, something something about trying to figure out the kind of person i will become temporarily while i am waiting to monetize my true self. sloppy bun, big sweater, hands moving too fast, coffee shop near campus, red pen scratching out needless words.  neat updo, collared shirt, good posture, air-conditioned front office, elegant five-sentence-emails. hair down, heeled shoes, skirt swish, hanger clicks, cash register sounds. what can i do? who will it make me? i’ve been floured hands and soapy ones, industrial-grade rubber gloves and a plastic apron, a laminated nametag and one strong arm under a platter of hors d'oeuvres. i’ve sat at conference tables. i’ve sat at microphones. i’ve worn polo shirts and tuxedo shirts and tshirts that i never would have picked out myself. i’ve scrubbed toilets and chemical mixing drums. i’ve taken calls live on air. i scraped plates, i poured coffee, i sent letters. i say “i” but really i was sitting in the back of my head, creating a character who moved her body and stepped light and smiled when she handed you your change. i have been hunched in darkness the whole time, thinking of the right words, and i’m getting tired.