Because sometimes you just stumble into career ambitions.
Gerardo may only be twenty but he knows what his dreams are already... and here's a tale about a couple of them.
When I went to get Gerardo I was debating lunch or to head back down to the OC. I'm thankful that I decided on just one more before heading home later last night.
The destination was Greenspan's Grilled Cheese located on Melrose.
"Oh my god. Are they any good there?"
"The sandwiches? Yes but they're pricey."
"Tell me more. I like fancy. I can't afford it but I like it."
He started telling me about the prices.
"That's not too bad."
"Well there's a sandwich that's about 11 bucks."
"Ooo what's on it?"
Gerardo told me the ingredients for the sandwich called "The Champ."
"It's got beef short ribs and sun dried tomatoes with apricot sauce and cheese on raisin walnut bread."
"Hot damn that does sound tasty. I want one. Are you going to treat me to lunch?"
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah why not?"
"And five stars too?"
I was taken back. I'd started a piece over on Little Mom, Big City that I haven't posted yet and was just so thankful and humbled. I don't know if he even knew how much he made my day. I went to change the subject away from my being poor and a single mother and onto the new page that I was building down south.
Gerardo told me about how he also was a little tired of the hustle bustle of LA and was considering a different backdrop too.
"Where are you headed?"
"My family lives out in Chino Hills. It's gorgeous down there. I love LA but it's just different and nice down there."
I told him about my recent move to Orange County and about my love/hate with it.
"I cried the first night I was there. It's easily the most beautiful place I've ever lived in and may live in in a long time and I totally cried."
"Oh man. Why?"
"I just love LA. This is where my heart is. This is where my dreams are and I've worked so hard. I don't want to stop. I just know this is for the best right now and maybe I'll be back again but I'm still here anyway I just have my stuff in a different place right now. But please tell me about one of your dreams."
Gerardo told me that when he was little his stepfather would get requests from family and family friends to cook meals for parties and things.
"He would let me help him cook and then he would pay me a little bit too."
Over time he came to enjoy cooking more and more.
"How'd you end up at Greenspan?"
"My brother already worked there as a server so he got me the job. I'm a cook there. There's a famous cook there sometimes that cooks as well."
I asked Gerardo what his favorite type of food was. He enjoyed many foods and shared some of my tastes with not liking onions but went elsewhere with his tastes of not enjoying peanut butter. He also stated that he didn't initially like sushi until much later.
"Sushi is a staple. I would die without it. If you ever become a sushi chef, please let me know. I need a sushi chef friend."
We got to his work and I was able to find parking right in front. It was almost too perfect.
"Were you serious about lunch? You're not going to find me to be a weirdo?"
"Not at all. Come on in!"
I parked the car and went in and had one of the best grilled cheese I've had in a long long time.
"Whatever you want, it's on me. You can even build one with whatever you want too."
"I think I'll just try that one you mentioned."
"Well maybe next time..."
"I'm super thankful Gerardo."
He smiled as he told them to give me the sandwich called The Champ. He also gave me a fried Elvis sandwich (peanut butter, banana and bread), a salad and a drink. I was super thankful but I did want to ask him what his favorite sandwich.
"Mine is white bread, white cheddar cheese, spinach, tomato, grilled chicken, and buffalo sauce."
What will your [verse] be? Make it your own. Happy travels my friends. Eat up.