It probably seems like I’ve stopped talking to myself. For sure, I’ve stopped talking to you. Don’t worry, I’m not mad. It’s not you; it’s me.
Everything changed. Sort of suddenly. I have two jobs now. Two? I have like six jobs now. And while I would not say that my creative life is suffering, I would say that my creativity is for sure being re-channeled at the moment.
I used to wake up in the morning, feed the cats, either go surfing or write in my diary, listen to the birds, take a walk, ponder, float all around my interior and exterior spaces, then pedal off to work for a series of hours. It was peaceful, sweet, maybe a little too easy, and very quiet. A holding pattern, easy to hold.
And then, to make a long story short, everything changed. Overnight. Ok, not really, but we’ll go with that. His name is Hernan. I first met him in a dream in February of 2020, and then in real life several months after. We live together, play together, and work together. And I have added, “Chef” to the list of titles by which I have been addressed in my life, whether I deserve them or not.
In the Beginning, we were trying to figure it all out, and my friend Kate, who is one of those friends you really need to listen to, said, “You guys should be chefs! We’re desperate for chefs! We need people to cook for people and you guys are the best cooks I know!” She’s very enthusiastic, Kate is. She doesn’t really cook, so I wasn’t sure how seriously to take her. I mean she practically loses her mind in fits of joy over a bowl of boiled potatoes with olive oil and oregano. But then again–those were some pretty good potatoes!
So we tried it. We made a menu. We took a reservation. It was the beginning of November and we were so terrified. We might have had to drink tequila shots to give ourselves the courage to walk out the door of our house on the first night and load our coolers into the taxi that would take us to our first gig. We didn’t even have a car.
Eight months later, we have a real website, a vehicle, a freezer, a second oven, and a second refrigerator, and are married to our calendar. We are slammed.
I wake up, like always, at 6 in the morning. But now the first thing I do is make whatever dessert we need for the evening. Then Hernan and I sit over cups of coffee and make the shopping list for the night’s dinner. He takes off in the car to make his rounds through the supermarkets, fish sellers, vegetable market, and the butcher shop. I ride my bike to The Office because I’m too terrified to quit my office job even though I am dying a thousand deaths from exhaustion. At The Office I do other people’s work and also some of my own, because it’s from The Office that our clients come. Shortly after noon, I go home. I add up the receipts from the morning, and email the clients to tell them how much the dinner will be. I answer emails, record reservations, note deposits, coordinate the calendar, pay the bills, eat the lunch Hernan makes for us, and if I am lucky, maybe collapse for a short nap. In the mid-afternoon, we pack up our coolers and boxes with everything we could possibly need to cook a meal for the evening. Average group size is about 9. We take showers, put on our green pants, white shirts, and black shoes, and haul all the stuff out to the truck. Then we go cook. Then we clean it all up. Then we come home. Then we haul everything back up the stairs and put it all away. Then it is somewhere between 9 and 10 pm, usually, and we collapse into bed.
This is why I have not been talking to you. It’s why I am barely talking to myself. But it’s all good. Chapters. They aren’t all supposed to be the same, or there would be no book. I could not ever have imagined any of this. I can never imagine anything that actually happens–I’m used to it.
And the next thing that might happen, is that I might start a cooking/food blog. On the other website. In case you want to see it, it’s www.grillmaster506.com . Hernan is from Argentina and he can grill food like nobody else you’ve ever met. At least that way I could share the day-to-day. And help to build the business. I miss blogging. It’s fun for me. But there’s not a lot of introspection going on these days. There’s a lot of chopping and stirring and trying to figure out weird fancy stoves in zillion dollar vacation rental homes. Ha.
I still feed the cats. Although, at this time, I only have one. Some sad stories, there.
I still surf. Sometimes. When there’s no dessert to make. And the conditions are so perfect that I can choose more movement over precious rest.
I still write. Distractedly, while watching over the oven. In the 2 minutes before I fall asleep. Or the 5 minutes I’m alone in the house. Or the 30 seconds between the time I sit down with a pen and the moment I remember something I absolutely had to do yesterday.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Kate, ever wise, told me to knock it off with the desserts. I love making desserts and the clients love eating them. But nobody books us for the desserts, she pointed out. They book us for the grilling Hernan does. So if the meal doesn’t end with the best Tres Leches they’ve ever eaten in their lives, they’re going to be just as happy. And I can feed the cats again in the morning, either go surfing or write in my diary, listen to the birds, take a walk, ponder, float all around my interior and exterior spaces, then pedal off to work for a series of hours. It’s going to be wonderful.
And I’ll keep you posted if I start the other blog.