This Is Fine. Is a weekly publication from VICE approximately the tremendously non-public approaches humans use to make the arena sense much less harrowing. In this version, John Paul Brammer extols the virtues of a very specific eating addiction that anchors him in a pretty chaotic professional area—and, like, world. Sign up here to receive a new essay approximately a dealing-with-lifestyles strategy via This Is Fine — every Sunday night.
I am a creature formed with the aid of the gig financial system. As a creator and reporter, I’ve visible certainly one of my workplaces dissolve in a single day, and I’ve visible the turbulence of the industry send my formerly complete-time friends into freelancing, or into different fields completely. Every time I begin a brand new task, I begin saving up for my subsequent voyage into the wilderness of unemployment, stretches of time whilst my office will become something Starbucks I’m closest to. It’s a chaotic lifestyle, but one I’ve greater or less tailored to, like a benthic squid that knows most effective darkness.
That doesn’t suggest I don’t have anxiety. I even have masses: over when my next take a look at will come within the mail; over what this eldritch horror of a career is including up to; over whether or no longer the public reaction to my subsequent thinkpiece could be so bad that I’ll ought to cross returned to creating tortillas in Oklahoma for a residing. I have an anxiety of the “it’s a disorder” type as well, which I need the costly medicinal drug for, which ends up giving me more tension when money is tight. (I’ve evolved a twitch in my right eye that I’m pretty positive is everlasting.)
During my final freefall into the “hello, just checking in on payment for this” waters, I landed at the pillowy beaches of an uncommon island. It’s a consolation I’m no longer extraordinarily pleased with, but one that has although provided a balm for my nerves: ingesting the identical factor, in greater or much less the equal location, each day. My respite? Eating the identical organized egg product from the identical chain as frequently as humanly viable. Per Starbucks company, it bears the title “Sous Vide Egg Bites.”
The overdue capitalist hellscape we inhabit has produced some actual horrors, one being the precarity that accompanies any employment human beings in my area may find, and some other being Howard Schultz, the previous CEO of Starbucks and the person who threatened to run for president if the Democratic Party went to a ways left until he threw his again out. I am properly privy to what Starbucks is and how it traffics in sanitized, ornamental wokeness to emblem itself as the thinking man’s bean juice. But this isn’t about Starbucks. This is set finding an area with dependable Wi-Fi that isn’t my residence, and a lovely egg deal with that asks after not anything of me, shop a couple of bucks.
Don’t take this as an endorsement. I’m now not pronouncing that, in the face of professional calamity or something other uncertainty can be plaguing you, you have to go out and order a few Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites. Take this instead as a dire entry from a survivor’s log, written through a haggard man living on knife’s aspect. The form of man or woman in a state to mention, and imply: Starbucks’ Sous Vide Egg Bites saved my existence. I can’t forestall ordering them, and I stay in worry of the bizarre Starbucks mermaid with two tails taking them far from me. In the stormy seas that roil me, they’re my anchor.
I may want to talk approximately the flavor, though that element isn’t exquisite critical to me. Starbucks’ Sous Vide Egg Bites are mere clouds with pointers of bell pepper and…I don’t know, sodium. For one broken month of my existence, throughout which I was freelancing complete time and running on broadly speaking espresso and prayer, my lunches consisted nearly absolutely of Egg Bites—mainly the egg white type, with some different flavors here and there for spontaneity: ham and cheddar, bacon and gruyere. I felt awesome. But the real attraction of Egg Bites is how nicely they embody an experience of unwavering predictability, a high-quality that is in general in any other case unknown to me.
Starbucks offers an entirely well-known experience no matter which place you locate yourself in. The Egg Bites I consume here in Manhattan are the equal ones I order after I’m traveling home in Oklahoma, wherein the closest Starbucks is positioned interior a Target and wherein, sure, I even have written articles on Chechnya and fidget spinners with a view of the women’ apparel segment. Everything else is challenging to trade: what number of pieces I’m operating on and what sort of I’m being paid for them, the metropolis I manifest to be in, and my kingdom of mind, whether I am in a suit of mania or deep inside the throes of despair. Starbucks’ Egg Bites can’t relate. They are steady. They arrive, two flawlessly packaged little desserts nestled facet through aspect, as they usually do, completely anticipated, constantly turning in. They are stability incarnate. They are my god.
I have tried options. I go to unbiased espresso shops after I can, and usually, locate myself tempted via the big croissants and sandwiches in the show case. I rarely partake of these. Some are appropriate. Some are awful. That’s a danger! Sometimes the Wi-Fi at those places doesn’t paintings; other instances, their cold brew is so strong I can bodily experience my soul seeking to claw out of my frame and fly away. Starbucks has robust Wi-Fi and vulnerable coffee—best for me, a delicate flower flimsily held together through nothing however my rituals of normalcy—analyzing an ebook at the educate, using the same face wash every night time before mattress, and Sous Vide Egg Bites, continually Sous Vide Egg Bites. (I didn’t even understand what “sous vide” supposed until, like, remaining month. It entails plastic luggage and a water tub.)
I’ve given you a few theories approximately what my dependency on Egg Bites would possibly have to mention approximately the brutal international we live in. I should call my dependancy “self-care,” but that doesn’t feel pretty proper. Working in an acquainted place and ingesting acquainted, anodyne meals gets me through the chaotic, remoted global I live in, in which my process and my dating with my intellectual fitness change, but this one, heat, delicious factor does not. In the search for a steady in a sea of variables, I’ve found mine, and it is a hundred and seventy energy, total.