tiny worlds.

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Okay. Okay. Wow. Hmm. Okay. It’s okay.

Those were my thoughts on a Monday morning.
Two of my best friends, terrified and excited and worried and exhausted.
Their details, I won’t share here, but the circumstances had me holding back tears on the line.

“I need sides on 48 and 12!” I would holler out to my buddy, also cooking on the line.

I would pace back and forth, heart beating and trying to keep it together.

After things settle, and my heart is more at ease, I start focusing on my week, getting things tucked back in, like tapping a stack of misaligned papers on a table.

Tuesday, Work and Ramen night. Visit friends in hospital.
Wednesday, Work and Cater Captain of Zeus party. 13 hour day.
Thursday, Work and Prep for private catering gig. 13 hour day.
Friday, Cater private gig. Clean. 10 hour day.
Saturday, Record day of lunches at work. Cook gumbo for Mardi Gras event. 12 hour day

More often than not, I would say to myself, “Okay dude, don’t freak out. It’s going to be okay.”

My friends, so heavy on my heart, and so many other hearts.

I did what I always do to clear my head.

Clean.

After my private catering gig, my kitchen was horrid. Tomato sauce splattered everywhere from rushing around in my tiny space. Pots and pans stacked and my oven was a mess. After visiting with my friend, I came home and put on some music. I steamed my windows with the heat from the water and washed dishes till my fingers were wrinkly.

I get my steel brush and scrub the tomato off of everything. I remove my burner tops and scrub scrub scrub. I scrub it all away. I tear up a lot. I take deep breaths.

On my knees, I’m scrubbing my floor with a towel, enjoying how easily the dirt just washes away.

I take out the trash, let out a sigh and turn off the light to my kitchen knowing I will be doing this exact same thing again in 24 hours. I am okay with that.

I don’t mind cooking for people. You have to know that deep down, they will not know how much work goes into the food you cook. How much you have to clean up afterwards and how serious you are about your craft.

It is, at the end of the day, about the table we all sit at. That place I write about so often where we sit and talk about hard things that make our necks tight with fear and also the place we fall in love again and again with the people we share our tiny worlds with.

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I think about the breath of a new baby, and its cries that are as natural as breathing. Cries that make you believe in God again and restore in you that there is something bigger that ties us together, even in the midst of small nightmares and restless nights.

The truth is, you never know when the world will crack beneath you. You live in the terrifying moments and exhausted moments as you would when waking up next to a warm body, while the rain taps against your windows.

We live in all the moments, and we breathe life into each others worlds.

We are all, like I always say, small galaxies, floating infinitely, capable of such deep love and pain and beauty,

Birthed from the bellies of our mothers, and the mothers before them,

breaking water. breaking bread.

discovering again and always, the sacred life of the Beloved.

the importance of a good table.

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Are we okay?

Hmm. There’s a lot going on here.
Planet Earth and its billions of moving parts, we are bound to conflict and intersect.

In the midst of it all, some of us are preparing for interviews, funerals, war, or maybe a baby is about to be born. I am aware of the fear that resides in our bellies. Will we be good enough? Fast enough? Will we feel like we are enough?

I start doubting myself.
What if they need me to break down a fish — shoot, I should probably watch a few videos just to get a general idea. How do I show them that I like to devote myself to a craft and to a person.
I wrote a while ago about dating, and meeting new people.

How it’s hard to get an idea of a person with just one event. I suppose I recognize that. It’s a lot of pressure to feel impressive or cool or “having one’s shit together”. Nobody wants to be the person sitting on the other side of the table thinking, “Oh, they see it. They see how much of a mess I am. This is over. I am done. We should just go. I think I still have some ice cream in my freezer…”

I think about this more than I should. It’s a bit ridiculous, because I’m selling myself short. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be living out my potential every day. We read stuff like that all the time. To live in the present, and to be bold and brave and fail.

Only somedays, you want to stay inside and watch Netflix and be neutral. Not adding, or taking away from anyone.

So what do I do here?
I’m left at times feeling like a fish outta water. I don’t look the part. I don’t wear khakis to a bar, I like black and I wear thick glasses I’m sure people will tell me, when I lose them, that it was for the better. And I will chuckle and say something I don’t mean like, “Well why didn’t you tell me I looked so goofy?”

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I write a lot about my table. It’s sort of a metaphor, but more times than not I find myself sitting across from people I wouldn’t seek out. For reasons I can’t explain, like maybe they’re far more attractive than me, or their interests are nowhere close to mine. At the end of the day, we are all just trying to gain a bit of safety from the world. I think my table has a lot to offer.

You see those cracks there? Yeah, that happened not too long ago. That was rough. I didn’t know if I was gonna make it out alive.

This edge here? Yeah, it’s so much smoother than it used to be. I used to run into all the time and it would send a sharp pain up my back and it would take me a while to recover. I would say to myself, “I really should fix that, I just don’t have the time..”

This dish?
Oh, well my friend was walking around and saw it, and thought of me. I love when people say things like that. “I saw this, and thought of you…” That makes me feel most special. It makes me feel like there’s a piece of my spirit hanging with them, wherever they go. And that sounds really interesting, because sometimes that’s how we talk about the ones who have passed. Only, I am still alive and my memory is strong.

Oh! Let me fill your glass, because that’s important to me. I see your cheeks are a bit red, so I grab more water.

All this stuff is important, I say to myself.

And I guess, what I hope for people to see in me, is that they feel important when they are with me. Regardless of our daily battles, in that moment, cheeks red and wandering eyes, you are important.

You are at my table, and here, everything is important.