Confidence. Some people are born with it, and some people aren’t, just like a weird half finger on the side of your hand. I’m one of the people who was born without confidence and a weird half finger on the side of my hand, but I didn’t let that stop me. I had a dream, but when you’ve got no charisma it can be hard to get ahead. Which is why you fake it. For 13 years I pretended confidence, and now I’m serving Sloppy Joes to the President himself with my weird finger hand.
Sure, you may be asking yourself, “Won’t people be able to see through your act and also see your deformed shaky finger jutting out of your hand like some weird hand tail?” but the first step is getting past that fear. You have to learn that people aren’t thinking about you and your warped second pinky nearly as much as you think they are. If you’re able to present yourself as the best version of the person you want to be, that’s what they’ll see too.
Even when they shake your gloved hand in the cafeteria, the rubber stretching as it struggles to contain your shivering finger secret, with the right attitude and self confidence they won’t even notice. They’ll feel it, wiggling its way into ever nook and cranny their palm gives it as you shake, but that’s just what you’re up against. Can you keep their eyes on the tatter tots, and not on the shallow hole your finger phantom is trying to dig into their hand? That all depends on one thing, and that thing is you.
When I started on this path, I had to ask myself, “What do I think the perfect lunch lady looks like?” Does she wear a hairnet, or is she so confident in her scalp that she trusts her hairs not to fall into the coleslaw? Is she apologetic when she miscounts the change, or does she stoically look upon you with a tired gaze until you leave, shaken by the experience? How many fingers does she have, and will your extra one be a problem? The answer is only if you let it, because only you can stop it.
It’s not even really acting. You may start out thinking you’re a fraud, but when you get in the zone, it just becomes you. Every step of the way, from getting that first café job at Martin Van Burden Middle School to handing Gerald Ford his grilled tuna fish sandwich, you’ll be in your head, wondering if they know. If they figured out that you’re just a high school drop out with a sentient finger that sometimes tries to hurt others. But that’ll go away as you realize that you’re both.
You’ll always be this backwoods mud baby who once found a dead body and put your weird finger in it’s ear and ever since things haven’t been the same, but you’ll also one heck of a lunch lady. And if I ever doubt that, I just look Mr. Obama right in the eye and ask him “Do you see a snakelike finger, worming its way into your pasta right now?”
And he’ll say he only sees a hero.