Janet (j4) wrote,

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Little lights

Worked my first Sunday shift at the Carlton yesterday.

It was interesting to see the pub full of different drinks: my perception of the people is filtered through my awareness of what they're ordering. Thursday and Friday nights have been primarily cask ales (in the lounge bar) and lager, bitter, and cider (in the main bar), with a smattering of soft drinks on both sides. Sunday, by contrast, saw the lounge bar mostly full of soft drinks and chocolate ice-creams, while the main bar was cask ales, glasses of white wine, brandy and sodas, and (a new one for me) bitter and light. I was mostly working in the main bar, and at one point I realised hardly anybody had ordered anything except "the same" for over an hour. The men sat at the bar and bantered with each other and with me; the couples sat quietly at tables.

One gentleman kept returning to the bar for a pint and a half of Flowers -- the pint for himself (in his own ancient Folk Festival tankard, kept for him under the bar); the half for his wife. She never came to the bar herself, and as far as I saw she barely spoke; she just silently drank her half-pints, her head slowly falling further forward onto her chest as she apparently fell asleep over her beer.

Terri made a point of warning me that if the "youngsters" came in they'd probably be ordering Dr Peppers. "Do we sell Dr Pepper?" I asked, surprised, as I hadn't noticed the cans in the fridge. She explained that a "Dr Pepper" consists of a half-and-half mixture of lager and coke, with a shot of Amaretto. Apparently it tastes just like the real Dr Pepper. I'm glad to say nobody actually ordered one of these travesties.

Of course, the pub was also full of Sunday roasts; by halfway through the afternoon I never wanted to see another roast potato or another pool of gravy again. However, by the time it came to eat my own roast dinner (a perk of working the Sunday lunchtime shift!) I was so hungry I could have eaten a horse; and besides, Jethro's cooking was as marvellous as ever, from tender lamb and tasty cauliflower to Yorkshire puddings with just the right mixture of crispyness and sponginess.

* * *

On my way to the pub the sun had been brightly shining, and my head had been full of smiles and kisses from Saturday afternoon, and everything had suddenly seemed more hopeful. I thought the afternoon would make me lose that feeling, because I have to put the daydreams out of my head in order to keep track of bar work; but when I left the pub (by then it was dark outside) I still felt quietly happy inside, and all the smiles were still there where I'd left them.

* * *

This morning I woke up with a start at 7:30am, then fell asleep again and dreamed about being late for work. In the dream I was trying to get to somebody's house on Scotland Road (I think) before work, to pick up a cot. I didn't have a baby, only a doll to put in the cot, and I was worried that people at work would think this was a very strange thing to need to collect so urgently before work, but I had to pick it up at some point and this seemed like a good time. The cot was a wicker thing, and very fragile; I was worried that I'd squash it by holding it. The doll had huge wide-open blue eyes.

I had to get back to work, but instead of cycling from this road (which I knew was off Mill Road somewhere) straight to work, I forgot and went home instead. I remember looking at my watch and seeing that it was 9:30am but then remembering that I don't wear a watch any more so the time on it was probably wrong as I wouldn't have set it for ages. It was dark, still early in the morning, and there was a point when I was struggling up a hill on my bike and as I got to the crest of the hill I saw the whole city stretched out below me, all dark buildings and arches and bridges outlined in Christmas lights -- nothing like Cambridge at all! -- and I remember thinking that I had to remember the name of the street from which this view could be seen, because I wanted to tell all my friends so they could see it too. [I can't remember what street it was; that vanished as soon as I woke up.] Then some kind of momentum seemed to pull me over the top of the hill.

When I got home I realised I'd have to drive into work instead of cycling, and I got in the car (sion_a's car) and it started moving before I'd turned the ignition on. I knew "coasting" like this was a very bad idea, so I tried to turn the ignition on so that I'd be in control of the car, but I couldn't control it. When I tried to turn round (having realised that I was going the wrong way) I found that the car just kept on turning round and round in circles; the other drivers around me were staring at me and I was throwing up my hands to try to convey to them that it wasn't my fault, there was nothing I could do about it. I think in the dream I got to work in the end, but it was about 11am by the time I did.

Sometimes I wish my dreams wouldn't be so flagrantly symbolic...

Normally being-late-for-work dreams leave me feeling scratchy all morning. Now I feel shattered, but somehow still calm inside. The lights in the dream were so beautiful.

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