Don’t worry, I had nachos.
Not only did I have nachos, but I did something I rarely ever do. I went to a local dive bar by myself and just hung out. To clarify, I didn’t socialise. I found a comfy corner table, ordered a large platter (read: too many nachos) and watched a couple of episodes of BoJack I’d downloaded with headphones on. It was bliss. The nachos were fucking great. To circumvent the sour cream dilemma I mentioned yesterday, they had little rammekins filled with toppings. Aside from a massive dollop of guac, that is. Servings of salsa, sour cream and dill dressing flanked a humongous pile of chips, cheese, beans and jalapeños. Honestly, for $14, it was an impressive serving. They even made the effort of layering, sprinkling an almost uncomfortable (hah, as if that exists) amount of cheese between chips and accoutrements. With the power to serve toppings as I wanted, I made concentric circles of the aforementioned sauces. The chips were crunchy, not laden with sogginess from ingredient overload. I was almost jealous. Instead I gorged myself way past the point of necessity and ate every single chip out of a feeling of completionism. Don’t say I never finish anything. A 3 speed lager on the side was refreshingly crisp, while the environs were warm and comfortably laconic. Hell, why wouldn’t I shill for them? If you’re in the area, check out Toronto’s The Gem Bar & Grill. If you go for Sunday brunch there’s often a massive friendly hound hanging out on the floor. You’ll like it or you won’t. There’s not much room for middle ground.
At work lately, I’ve started trying something new. Often when someone I barely know asks “how’s it going?” or “how’re things?” I’ve begun answering honestly. “Still hate my job” or “things are kind of a low level meh most of the time” are some of my go-tos. My first assumption was that this kind of response would breed unsure side-eye or a wholly negative attitude. You know how sometimes you’ll say something slightly out of the ordinary and people don’t know how to process it (since it’s not in their response Rolodex)? Then they’ll be sorta awkward or standoffish? Hasn’t happened as much as I thought. A lot of the time people will balk for a second, think about it and say something like “actually, me too”. They’ll talk about things in their life that aren’t quite going as they expected or desired. They’ll unload a little and we’ll share. It’s peculiar, but cathartic. As I said, I expected that people would shit the bed a little and treat me like a bad smell. I was worried about loading up (essentially) strangers with emotional baggage, but it’s been more comforting and collaborative than that. On most occasions I’ve found that both of us have walked away from the engagement a little bit closer than we were, but perhaps feeling understood.
I don’t know that it’s worth being a new auto-response, but it has reminded me that people can have the capacity to surprise you if you let them.
I think that’s me for today. Food and sadness.