I Don’t Have a Cent Where I Pay My Rent

I’m almost to the end of 3 weeks of training at the restaurant.   I think I pretty much know where everything “lives,” what the systems are, where the men’s room is, the personalities of my co-workers, what’s generally expected of me and how the ebb and flow of the night goes.   I have a great handle on the food (it’s what I’m most interested in) and the wine is coming….

But y’all, wine is hard!   Italian wine, even harder.  And a 150-bottle list, damn near intimidating.

Well, tonight we tasted dessert wines (one of the perks of training — sitting down after the shift and eating and drinking little sips of 8 or 12 bottles.  Rough duty…..).  And for the first time I felt completely comfortable with my opinions and observations on nose, taste and potential pairings.   My favorite, the Sauterne.    Wow, just wow!  Who knew mildew could be our friend?

And so I go, onward towards my food and wine test Friday.   I have two days off and I’m gonna study my ass off.  Not gonna stress about it.  Be organized.  Well-paced. And rational.

I’m happy.  The choices of two years ago were good.   Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?



So, tired of sending resumes into the job black hole, aka internet, I decide a few weeks back to drop one off – in person – at my favorite neighborhood restaurant.   Encouraged by two friends who work there, I reluctantly went in and spoke to the General Manager.   Reluctant because this is one of Atlanta’s best restaurants, one at which I was a regular customer, one to which I took clients, and friends, and family.  One in which I was reluctant to work due to my own pride.  Pride of having an associate or friend see me wait tables (oh the shame, the horror!  more on my own moronic behavior later….).

Tonight, my first night of training, at one point I was setting a table and as I was arranging the napkins, forks, knives and bread plates, I muttered “I am so damn happy right about now.”  Happy to be working.  But more than that, happy to be picking up on dreams that I had let fall to the ground.


My Vision is Clear

I’ve not been able to say that much in the last 7 or 8 months.

But something’s changed in the last couple of months.   7 or 8 weeks.   This slow advent of Spring has, as it always does, renewed something in me.  Reawakened something elemental.  Something definitely missing.   I’ve been looking for it, been expecting it. But like the proverbial pot of water, the watched-for clue never appears.

But it did today.  A day of making decisions and putting myself out there.  Of sitting and waiting.  Of being looked at and evaluated.  Of having people listen to your story.  Of telling your story.  A day of reminding myself why I chose to change my life almost exactly two years ago.

It wasn’t until I explained my day to Matthew that it became apparent what these last six months have done to me.  To my rather myopic self view, it’s been a whole lot of killing time.  A whole lot of nothing.  Of sending resumes out into the vast ether that is the internet.  Of networking with caring friends, who, at the same time, don’t understand me, my goals and what I’m all about (my bad).  Or who are too busy with their very own lives and growth and issues and insecurity, change, etc to tend to mine.   It’s been a a lot of self-doubt and questions.  Of boredom and disengagement.   The last 6 months have consisted of licking my wounds and trying to back down into to the hole from which I made a conscious decision to escape.

That ain’t gonna work.

So as I stood there explaining to Matt what I had done today, a lot about myself suddenly made sense.  And it made sense relative to the decisions I’ve made that even I’ve not quite understood.   A + some number = C.

I think that “some number” is in sight.   Not in the shimmering calm waters of the Cape but right here, under my very nose.  Right here.  At home.  So things didn’t work out in Provincetown?  So what?  Why can’t they work here?  Why can’t you swallow your fucking pride and concern and ego right here in the open instead of a thousand miles away?   You’ve made the break.  You’ve found a way to make it work.   But my friend, you’re dangerously close to indefinitely extending this malaise and quickly ruining what gave you these opportunities in the first place.     What the hell are you doing, Brown??  It’s not all that different.   More opportunities.  Better network.  Not as scenic….so what.


Let’s move on, shall we?