Monday, June 19, 2006

I Hate Being Needed

The one place I don’t mind being needed is at my job.
I’m a server in a restaurant.
I’m constantly needed there.
People need me to see them,
talk to them,
be nice to them.
They need me for hours and hours and what they need from me includes the most basic need of all: to be fed.

I don’t mind being needed at my job.
No matter what the customers need or how badly they need it, their needs are finite.
We all agree on the parameters of what can be needed
and within exactly what window of time those needs can be met
and at what point everyone has to stop needing things and go home.
There is an end in sight and it’s called clock-out time.

There is no clock-out time with other people.
There is no clock-out time with kids.
There is no clock-out time with lovers or acquaintances.
Their needs are undefined, unknown, possibly limitless.
Their needs might never end until all life has been sucked out of everyone concerned.

DON’T NEED ME
unless you can precisely convey the exact size,
duration,
temperature
and color of your need.

If I can’t feel the edges of it,
if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel,
if it’s too deep for me to swim to the surface and catch another breath,
then don’t need me.

This is why I’ve never been married;
this is why I’ve never had children:
because being needed by a husband scares me,
but motherhood sounds even worse than childhood.

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