I wanted to extend my stay in Montreal so I contacted the owner of a hostel with whom I stayed the past year. I knew he wouldn't remember me even though we vibed nicely with each other, so I proposed that he interview me someday soon. His answer was somewhat amused and dismissive "ok, contact me as the date approaches".
I contacted him again this week asking him when was a good time to drop by, but he didn't answer. Then, yesterday, I told him I was going to his neighborhood to return a book to the library and I could drop by. No answer.
Usually this is more than enough to deter me from pursuing someone or something, but somehow I knew that if he just saw me and we chatted a little bit, we would vibe as before and I would have a fair shot at my proposal.
I went to the door of the hostel. A guest was checking his phone on the stairs "Hey, is Jonathan here?" I asked "Yes, do you want me to call him?"--"no no no I have his number, I'll text him".
Hey Jonathan, I'm outside the hostel, let me know if now is a good time. I waited for him to read it. Five minutes passed, no blue checkmark. It felt too invasive to ring the doorbell and tell him "hey I'm here", yet "as you didn't answer I left and will come back some other day" was not assertive enough.
I thought "all you need is patience". I put on my earbuds and micro-danced on the sidewalk. Ten minutes later a taxi came up and dropped off a young man who rung the bell. Jonathan opened the door. After he let them in I told him "Will you have five minutes after you check-in your guest?" he said sure, just wait here. Two minutes he invited me into the hostel.
He was about to have dinner and offered kimchi. I love kimchi. He served a plate. I put forward my offer to volunteer at the hostel, but he changed the subject to personal matters. I noticed: when you don't want to talk about work it's because you are fed up with work.
I listened and asked questions about his personal matters (mostly health related). He said people who help him dislike him because he's not good at telling people what to do. People rarely volunteer twice. The inference I make about the situation is that he humiliates and abuses his volunteers because he experiences them as incompetent, but his health isn't good, he's in pain, and thus perpetually in a bad mood.
All this was in stark contrast to his current disposition. He was kind and considerate. He even cooked eggs for himself and me to accompany the kimchi. I know this energy, it's my grandmother's.
I smiled because I knew this to be a final test. People who are like this normally eject possible friends and allies with their behavior, but sometimes damaged people like me show up and think they can please the person out of their bad mood. If I am not inwardly cautious, I will become a slave to Jonathan and his hostel, and that would be all my fault. If I am to accomplish this small side-quest, I will need to establish boundaries, make Jonathan mad, and not give a damn about it.
After dinner, almost without having touched the topic of tasks and responsibilities, Jonathan said "Ok, I will expect you on June 2nd". I said "thank you, you won't regret it". He answered, "You might, though", we laughed. If I am to make a prediction, I would say it won't be easy, but it's spiritual work thus the outcome will be positive for both of us.
I will add a brief unrelated note: yesterday, as I was coming back from the hostel, I crossed paths with a fit attractive woman in a yoga outfit. She was smoking a cigarrette. Like the other day, I was greatly aroused at this sight. The effect is so strong I wonder if I somehow acquired a new fetish, hot fit women smoking. Then I realized: the desire to smoke is not gone, if I see someone smoke I have cravings. The desire to get laid is not gone either, when I see an attractive woman I experience desire. When I see them together in a literal smoking hot woman, cravings and sexual desire compound into a dopamine bomb. I simply observe, I don't have to react to this experience.
Second unrelated observation: it started raining. I said out loud "hell yeah!". I was happy because today I need to stay home all day working on vacating the apartment. It's difficult when it's so nice outside. Let's get to work.