Sunday, January 24, 2010

Give catering another shot, after last year's attempt?

It was bizarre and exhausting in the extreme, LA way. My first and only gig to date, I ended up at the Governor's Ball in Hollywood, one of, if not the main dinner party after the Oscar's. At my table, I served the actress from Ella Enchanted and her boyfriend. Caddy corner: Anthony Hopkin's table. I was too stressed out by pressure from 2 or 3 levels of management prowling around with walkie-talkies to be star struck, not that I have any opinion of Hollywood actors. I can't name more than a handful off the top of my head.

I may as well have been placing plates of filet mignon on the streets of Brazil. I was totally invisible, the picture of servitude, dizzy in a sea of sequins and colors, gowns with trains, blinding teeth and matching clutches, gloves, towering women with immaculate coiffures and milky skin. The live music was horrific. It was obvious, and assumed, that these stars treated the dinner as an obligation, and eating was an after-thought, or some kind of "free" night from a strict organic diet conceived by a yoga-fitness guru. Outside the ballroom, on my way to get desserts, I passed Sean Penn. He was keeping his distance from the ballroom while making an appearance. What an ordeal to receive an Oscar?

I kept smelling this amazing perfume, and thinking that fabulously wealthy people must have access to aesthetic sciences I've never dreamed of. As the guests trickled away hours later, I finally noticed a table on the level above me with bunches of hyacinths worked into the "Pan-Asian" arrangement. Ziumbiul, Tzvetanka's favorite flower, appears in many a Balkan tune. On my way onto the shuttle to the caterers' parking lot, I spied a bundle of 20 or so stems bound tightly together, fallen next to a bucket full of these flower bundles, in the back of a box truck. I dashed to liberate it and slipped back into line.

Just after we pulled away, we stopped at a light and an older woman in white shirt, black pants, black apron, walked forlornly in front of us. I could see she'd been crying. The other workers and passengers tried to get her attention, or to get the driver to open the door to let her in. It was past midnight, and she would have at least a 40 minute walk on the closed streets of Hollywood to get to the parking garage or a bus stop. She didn't hear us, and he didn't stop.

You wouldn't believe how purifying a bunch of 20 hyacinths can smell on a shuttle bus full of exhausted, demoralized human apes. They are the embodiment of Spring. A phallic thrust out of moist, thawed earth, even their flowers seem to be crystallized liquid, turning to a sugary purple sludge if bruised. Their form is incredibly feeble. It must be all about the permeating essence.


Carrie said...

what a wonderful story. I got Joshua a forced hayacinth plant for valentine's day (SHHH! Don't tell!)

pele said...

Thanks, Carrie. I try to write writes on occasion, and post posts about. xoxox Btw, I'm all MUM. :P

MH said...

Great, beatiful, inmensely sad, insightful story.
As for your last, farewell post, I keep writing my own blog even though I know I have only one faithful reader...No even my real life friends... But I still enjoy having a place to store my feelings, troughts or likings, as a kind of reservoir of future memories. :)
Hope you keep writing.