Baltimore, live!

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I really don’t have words for tonight.  It feels strange.
I’ll get to Baltimore in a moment.
I was called in to work today today, pretty much to ensure that the restaurant could handle one large party that was coming in.  Safe to say that my presence there was completly superfluous, for one reason it was a Monday, for another we had three other waiters on staff, for third the weather was pretty bad, and lastly, every TV around was showing Baltimore, a 40 min drive from here, as the riots started.
Obviously, it was working up to be a great night.  And of course, very few customers came in.  I spent the first two hours at the host stand with my eyes fixated on the TV, trying to ignore the racists at the bar, who insisted on referring to the rioters as monkeys.  If that doesn’t explain the riots, I don’t know what would.
But oddly enough, I had to explain them. One of the other waiters is an immigrant from Albania, and couldn’t understand what good this riot was meant to do.  I explained to him that it had little to do with accomplishing anything, but was likely the result of pent up frustration.  It turned into a history of Black America in miniature.
And there was an immense surreality to it all.  It might have been the live coverage, coming to us in HD TV.  The host looked up from her iPhone occasionally to watch the TV with indifference.  I told her that she should pay attention to what was going on, that it would be important to know what was going.  She didn’t take what I said to heart.  It reminded me of being her age and watching 9/11 on TV for most of the school day, and then at work there after.  I remember being horrified, but engaged.  I remember knowing that this would be important.
It got busy for maybe an hour.  Not busy enough for it to be worth my being there, but just busy enough so that I couldn’t watch the TV.  When I finished the hockey game was on.
Stopped at a bad on the way home.  Everyone was in there and happy, as if nothing was happening.
The fuck.

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