I practically lived at Four and Twenty’s Gowanus location at one point, and that’s an exaggeration, yes, but not thaaaat much of an exaggeration. I used to live a ten-minute walk away, and, when I was freelancing, I had a bit of a routine — once a week (or so), I’d go get fish tacos at Calexico (they had a lunch special — two tacos, rice and beans, guacamole for $11) and walk over to get pie at Four and Twenty Blackbirds. I’d sit at the communal table, often bathed in sunlight, and work. Sometimes, on my way home, I’d stop by the Brooklyn Whole Foods for eggs and milk and fruit and cookies.
Maybe one of the clearest things anyone knows about me is that I consider Brooklyn home, and I ended up having to move back to Los Angeles a year and nine months ago because of financial and mental health reasons. Freelancing wasn’t enough, money-wise, and I was applying to full-time jobs and getting interviews and making it to second, third steps but never getting the job, and all that was negatively impacting my already pre-existing mental health issues. My family was in Los Angeles and staged an intervention. I’ve been trying to make my way back home to Brooklyn since.
I’m terrified, though, I tell you, and we’re sitting at the counter in Four and Twenty’s Dean St. location. What if I do get a job, whether it’s full-time or freelance or whatever, and move back out, only to crash and burn again? What if I fail again?
And what if you don’t? you say, picking an errant blueberry off one of my plates. You’re the one always reminding me that I have to try things to give myself a chance for awesome things to happen. And why would you fail? You won’t fail.
But how do you know that? Anything could happen.
I know because I know you, you say with finality and brazenly try to steal my pie crust, but I stop you, slapping my fork onto the back of your hand.
My crust. I was saving that. No one told you to eat your crust first.
You pretend to be hurt, pretend to pout even more when I retrieve my crust from your fingers and take a bite.
My crust, I say again.
It’s a good crust.
I know. Anyway, you were saying?
I was saying nice things about you before you attacked me with your fork. You’re going to be fine — I know you — and, even if life goes to shit because, yeah, sometimes life does that, I’ll be there. And you’re more capable than you think you are. And I don’t just say that because I love you.
Aww, okay, fine, here, you can have the rest of my crust.