On Monday I had some olives.
“Big fucking WOW!” I hear you say. Big fucking wow you middle class upstart. Who do you think you are? From council flat to olives on a Monday night in 40 years. Well done, you must be so proud. You’ve come a long way baby!
Well. Hear me out. This is why they’re worth a mention.
I like olives. Now, I realise I like olives.
In a previous life my ex-wife and I would sit in the garden on a sunny evening, drinking wine and chatting about our day. Occasionally we’d play a board game she has which is pretty addictive. Supermind. It’s good.
We’d do this while eating a bowl of olives. Mondays and Fridays if memory serves. Olives and wine or a G&T. Or on holiday we’d sit having a beer, a few glasses of wine or a G&T in a bar, olives in front of us and chatting and having a fun time.
I’d forgotten about all this because, for a long, long time, I’ve not had any olives. I’d associated them with these times, which are all great memories but definitely part of my past now. I think back sometimes and a bit of sad hits me.
To be honest I’d forgotten that I liked olives. Or perhaps I wasn’t sure if I ever really liked them but instead loved what they represented. I thought it was my ex who loved them and I merely had a few and just let her scoff the rest. But I loved the talking, the time we spent together and the closeness.
On Monday I was in a supermarket, and when I got home I realised that I’d bought a pot of manzanilla and kalamata olives in salt and some oil.
Why did I buy them? Did I forget that I was alone? Did I buy them for someone else as I used to do? The Olive Queen as I used to call her. I looked at them on the kitchen counter and thought about giving them to her when I saw her next. I know how much she loves olives and I just didn’t feel up for it really.
But, for old times sake I thought I’d have one.
I sat down and had one.
And then another.
And then four more.
Fuck, they were delicious.
I had some more, and some more and, within a few minutes the pot was empty.
I’d eaten the whole damn lot of them and, quite simply, they were fantastic. Utterly sublime. Salty, moorish, with a herby oil which I liked from my fingers as I scoffed the whole darn lot of them.
I’d forgotten that I could do things like this. So much of my recent life has been connected with a significant other. So significant in fact that we decided to marry and have a family. Of course she is still significant but then so am I. And I’d forgotten that.
This was just me doing something I actually enjoyed.
Yes. It was. Me. I enjoyed it.
No-one else. Just me.
On Monday I had some olives. But something else happened too. I made a step in the right direction and the olives were a sign of knowing that I can be me and, actually, I quite like that.
Yes, I was married. I was a stay at home dad. Now I’m divorced but I’m still a dad. And, very importantly, I’m a me.
Sometimes it’s the small things that make you realise that, actually, you have come a long way. Baby.
A small pot of olives scoffed while sitting cross-legged on the living room floor. Nothing earth-shattering.
But it was something. It was quite a big thing actually.
And they were all mine.
Roll on next Monday.
Thanks for reading.