So today I decided to treat myself, and it was pretty dang delicious. Of course, as nostalgia trips go, it went fairly wide of the mark. My fond memories of falafels involve late-night excursions to a tiny hole in the wall where you place your order with a single word and get a foil-wrapped cylinder shoved at you a minute later. The restaurant serving the lunch crowd here is designed in the modern custom-assembly style, wherein there are at least two choices for everything (kind of bread! spiciness of falafel! flavor of hummus!) and a borderline ridiculous multitude of toppings and dressings at the ready. I still find a great deal of charm in any kind of establishment that scowls at the very notion of hold-this, extra-that, but I have to admit that when the food is prepared while I wait to my exact specifications, it just tastes better. It might not have much (any) of its own personality, but in yet another sign that I am getting old, that is a tradeoff I am entirely willing to make.
(Tangential rant: when my wife and I watch real estate shows together, one of my chief gripes are the people who are shown a house they might potentially buy, which has the amount of space they say they need, features the amenities they indicate they would like, is in the neighborhood they say they want to live in, comes in under their budget, &c., and ultimately is rejected because “ugh, flat white walls and beige carpet in symmetrical rooms? This house has no character!” Seriously? That’s what you’re going to get hung up on? Come on, people.)
Anyway, for all my reduxes and references to old blog posts which in turn reference my misspent days gone by in a never-ending tail-chasing obsession with the past, I know you can’t go home again. Sometimes you can’t even go back to the falafel joint near your old home; I don’t remember the name of the stand my friends from work took me to, or even what street it was on. But your memories become the things that you’ve learned and you move on with that knowledge of your own likes and dislikes, and you encounter new things, sometimes similar, sometimes apples and oranges. I’m a-gonna keep on keepin on, and I’m reasonably certain I’m always going to be well fed while I’m doing it.