All servers have them: those horrible dreams where you are the only waiter in a giant restaurant. Your station goes as far as the eye can see and there is a revolving door of customers pouring into the restaurant who all need to order right away. It’s like one of those awful fever-induced dreams where nothing makes sense and you wake up in a pool of cold sweat. Jolted from your dream, you find yourself sitting upright in your bed and then when you lay back down again, your sheets are damp with perspiration. I hate those waiter dreams. I have been told by former servers that they still have them even though they haven’t waited tables in decades. Does this mean that I can look forward to those dreams for the rest of my life? Probably.
I had a server dream last night, but it was little bit different than usual. In it, I was not at work as the sole waitron. I was simply eating dinner in a warm pub-like restaurant with some friends. When I got up to go to the bathroom, someone at a table motioned for me to come to them. I was wearing all black, so I must have looked like a waiter. They asked me for something and rather than tell them I didn’t work there, I just went to get it. The dream is slipping back into my subconscious so I don’t remember what it was. I think it was like they wanted water and since I could see a pitcher nearby, I just got it for them. No biggie. When I returned from the bathroom, another table told me they were ready to order. Again, I just went with it and asked them what they wanted. “Can I get a medium plain pizza with a small salad?” they asked me. I told them it was no problem and went to find someone who worked there to pass it on. I went up to a waitress and asked who had the second booth. “Tina,” she said and pointed towards a girl on the other side of the restaurant. I went to Tina and told her that table two had ordered and she thanked me and put the order into the computer. I went back to my table and continued my meal.
So what the fuck? So now even in my dreams I can’t enjoy going out to dinner? Isn’t it enough that when I go out to eat I constantly have to observe the servers and watch the interactions with their co-workers? I scan the sidestation to see how it’s organized. I watch the hostess to make sure the seating rotation is even. I can’t just sit back and be a customer and I hate it. And now even in my dreams I am unable to sit at a table and let someone serve me. I have to get up and take some fucking orders? If this is what the future of my dreams are, I’d rather not have anymore, thank you.
I had a dream. I dreamed it for you, baby. And it wasn’t that I would take Tina’s goddamn pizza order.
I dreamed a dream of time gone by. And it was of a time when my dreams were about good things and not working in a fucking restaurant.
I dreamed the impossible dream. And it was of me having a life that did not revolve around burger temperatures.
Once upon a dream. And then I woke up in a puddle of sad and salty sweat and tears.
Why can’t I just dream of Jeannie?