This Is Fine. It is a weekly publication from VICE about 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 particular eating addiction that anchors him in a chaotic professional area—and, like, world. Sign up here to receive a new essay about 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 seen one of my workplaces dissolve in a single day. I’ve witnessed the industry’s turbulence, sending my formerly complete-time friends into freelancing or different fields completely. Every time I begin a new task, I start saving up for my subsequent voyage into the wilderness of unemployment, stretches of time while my office will become something Starbucks I’m closest to. It’s a chaotic lifestyle, but I’ve more or less tailored to it, 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 cross returned to creating tortillas in Oklahoma for a residing. I also have anxiety about the “it’s a disorder” type, for which I need the costly medicinal drug, which gives me more tension when money is tight. (I’ve evolved a cramp 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 provided a balm for my nerves: ingesting the identical factor each day, in greater or much less the equal location. My respite? Eating the exact organized egg product from the precise chain as frequently as humanly viable. Per Starbucks company, it bears the title “Sous Vide Egg Bites.”
The overdue capitalist hellscape has produced some actual horrors, one being the precarity accompanying any employment human beings in my area may find. Some others were Howard Schultz, the previous CEO of Starbucks and the person who threatened to run for president if the Democratic Party went to 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 to finding an area with dependable Wi-Fi that isn’t my residence and a lovely egg deal that asks, after nothing of me, to shop a couple of bucks.
Don’t take this as an endorsement. I’m 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. Instead, take this as a dire entry from a survivor’s log, written by a lean man living on a 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 worry about 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 about 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. This high quality is, in general, in any other case, unknown to me.
Starbucks offers an entirely well-known experience no matter where you locate yourself. The Egg Bites I consume here in Manhattan are the equal ones I order after I travel home to Oklahoma, wherein the closest Starbucks is positioned inside a Target and wherein, sure, I even have written articles on Chechnya and fidget spinners with a view of the women’s 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 by the big croissants and sandwiches in the showcase. I rarely partake of these. Some are appropriate. Some are awful. That’s a danger! Sometimes, the Wi-Fi at those places doesn’t make paintings; in 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” was supposed to be until the remaining month. It entails plastic luggage and a water tub.)
I’ve given you a few theories about what my dependency on Egg Bites might have to mention about our brutal international. I should call my dependancy “self-care,” but that doesn’t feel 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. I’ve found mine in the search for a steady in a sea of variables, which is a total of a hundred and seventy energy.