As I was walking to and from this indoor market with food vendors and not enough seating, I passed by a bar with a “beer garden.” (Quotes are necessary when the only thing that distinguishes your beer garden from regular outdoor seating is the words on a sign.)
It was nice weather–exceedingly nice weather for early November–and the beer garden was ridiculously crowded, and absurdly loud. Give people in suits in Midtown a couple of beers and you’ve created an equation for VERY LOUD TALKING.
As I passed by, both times, I couldn’t help looking at all of these people as if they were in a different world. Technically, we were all a part of the same corporate machine, but watching these people take such joy in loosening their ties, I wondered whether I would fit in there, had I been drinking at the beer garden instead of visiting a much-hyped and only sort of interesting food hall a few blocks away.
The quick, easy answer is no.
When I was younger, I would often think about what separated me from these successful people in suits, and at the time, I figured it was age or experience–both. But as time went on, I started to realize it’s a strong possibility that I may never fit in with those people. Last night, as I saw how much fun they seemed to be having, all I could think was how boring their conversations must be.
Were they really? I have no way of knowing. I just knew I wasn’t–didn’t want to be–a part of that world.
Which is all fine to say, except I’m living in it. I go to work at a corporate job every day, and though I don’t dress the part (embarrassingly, my assistant dresses much better than I do) I act it for the most part. For as much as I need to so I can get away with playing the role I’m in right now. I always figured it wouldn’t be my life’s role, but at this point, I have nothing else to call my life’s work. Aside from this blog, I’m not writing. I’m not raising a family. I’m not even near my family. So to refuse to see myself as one of these office drones when all signs point to me being one must simply be the warped idea that because I never used to think I’d be one, I must not truly be.
Did you think a quick trip to an indoor food market could inspire such urban melancholy? If not, you don’t know me very well.