into the covoid – a brief from an american service worker.

i realize it’s a miracle that i’ve been able to live in the bay area as a blue collar artist hustling about $25k a year at my joe job waiting tables in a hotel restaurant. it’s also a miracle i can take sick days and paid time off doing this kind of work, a benefit to living in liberal berkeley, california.

and i know what you’re probably thinking, but i could give a shit. i’ve cultivated a good life for myself here, making my living working part-time hours, allowing me the time to feed the fire in my belly that is my artmaking and writing. especially good after a years long dry spell, that fire starved of fuel by the most heaviest of life stuff.

morning; henry’s, berkeley, ca. // photographed by pan ellington.

i knew we’d be hit, was expecting it last week, actually. but we’d had a couple slow nights and then a good weekend, nothing out of the ordinary for our beloved, yet ill-starred henry’s. this week, though, it would happen fucking fast — called off two out of the last three nights, three out of my five shifts next week just cut, the schedule pulled down, revised, and reposted in a matter of minutes. disconcerting? fuck, yes. and frightening, too, if i’m really gonna be honest. but i can also say that i’ve gotten through worse.

a view from work – exit sign; henry’s, berkeley, ca. // photographed by pan ellington.

which isn’t to say this whole fiasco doesn’t scare the fuck out of me. in the meantime, though, what else to do but lean in to what i have to try and make up the money i’m not able to earn at the joe job until these clouds finally pass over this cursed land of ours?

i’ll walk on with my book hustle, hawk my photos & artwork, create content on patreon. & hope that with my earnest effort & proverbial elbow grease, i’ll continue to grow my audience of readers & viewers. whether it’s me or another worker slash creator in your life, i gotta say, now’s the time to step up, offer your support — some kind words of encouragement if you’re out on the hustle, too; some kind bills of green if you’ve got the means.

because we’re all in this together.

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