Leaving

Fiction By Bridget // 9/13/2010

I've been in this place for far too long.  I'm tired of this world where nobody does anything but everything, but nothing unacceptable, of course.  I'm tired of this world where people are all over the place, daring to be bold but not brave, and certainly not interesting.  I'm tired of this place where etiquette and convention reign supreme, and to say anything out of order is a felony not fit to dream of.
I live in a place where people talk about India and China and other appropriately exotic places, but never think about Africa or beautiful Ireland, the place where I was born.  I live in a place where women wear black because it is classic, and occasionally red because it's daring, but never purple, which is out, or orange, which is a bright color, and everyone knows that the only sophisticated bright color is red.  The men wear suits every day, grey if the mood ever strikes them, but usually black, and their ties match their wives' dresses.
I live in a sophisticated world, a world far from the one I knew once, a world where people talk loudly and eloquently but never mean a word they say.  They see the world as it is not.  The sky is blue?  No, they will argue most convincingly that it is green, and you cannot make them think otherwise.  To lie is wrong?  To lie is necessary to get anything.  Nothing about this world is real, even though it physically exists.
Ireland isn't like this.  It's green.  You've heard that.  And it's beautiful.  But you'll never know how much until you go.  Pictures won't accurately convey that fact.  And it's real.  It must be.  It can't be like this.  No place can ever be like this.
This is my last day of work here.  I've lived with my family here since I was four.  When I was eighteen, I managed to get a job in a high-class restaurant.  Nothing important; I wait on people.  Take them to their table.  Serve their food.  Apologize if the food is too hot or not hot enough.  And I listen.  I hear them talk about their work, about their clothes that they had specially designed by such-and-such.  Never once have I heard them say anything interesting, in the three years I've worked here.
I'm quitting today.  The manager will be irritated.  I work hard and I always get tips.  The people who come here tip handsomely.  I suppose that could be considered a virtue, except that their generosity doesn't really come from the heart.  It's automatic.  I won't say it isn't convenient though.
I won't miss this place.  I won't miss my apartment, or my job, and certainly not my landlady.  My friends left after highschool, and I haven't really made any since.  So I'm not sorry to leave.
I wonder if I'll come back.  Just to see if anything's changed.  I can't see that happening.  At any rate, I won't be back for a long time.   So long, everyone.
I'm getting a ticket to Dublin.

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