i’m at work now (as per ush when i’m writing blog entries) and “california dreamin'” just came on the cheesy music station that my boss makes us listen to. i can’t hear that song without thinking of this one magical day that me, liz and sharon had in manhattan, when we were buried deep in grief and it was so cold out and we managed to have the most amazing day ever. this song showed up in a hilarious dive bar near penn station, where the toilets had no seats, the bartender didn’t know how to make a margarita (and his own personal drinks kept getting swiped by this old man at the bar every time he took his eyes off them!) and had never heard of triple sec, and a woman who may or may not have been a prostitute put this song on the jukebox. she closed her eyes and danced by herself, in a corner, not with anyone or for anyone. she had one of those faces where it’s obvious she’s had a rough life. she closed her eyes and swayed to the music in such a way that i knew she, for a few minutes, was escaping cold snowy new york city and going somewhere softer and more temperate. and i wanted, so badly, to go with her. i think about this woman periodically and wonder about her. i think about all the prostitutes i’ve had meaningful interactions with (and there have been quite a few), but this woman and i didn’t have an interaction, really. we didn’t speak and i don’t think she noticed me at all.
anyway, yesterday i wedged myself into the steamy underworld of banquet serving! i woke up before dawn, rode my bike through stopped traffic as the sun rose to my right. i met up with my friend stephanie and we sat around for a long time, then worked our asses off. i met a lot of nice people. everyone else knew each other, it was like entering a bizarre club. people laughed and joked and told stories all day. a few nervous breakdowns were had (not by me), i re-aggravated my wrist carrying trays of breadbaskets. i had never done banquet serving before, and this was actually the first job i’ve ever gotten by straight-up lying. it wasn’t too bad though. i was really nervous about carrying the trays, but stephanie said, “i saw you carrying that tray, and you looked so confident. then you spilled that breadbasket and i laughed.” i thought i heard her laughing as i spilled that, but i figured i was just being paranoid. but that was the only thing i dropped and i didn’t really drop it that badly.
pandemonium ensued as 4100 professional women descended upon the banquet hall! we got coffee! tea! decaf! oh, where the fuck is that decaf. then we ate lots of delicious free food on our lunch break, and then more delicious free food during clean-up. cheesecake bites! chocolate covered strawberries! one of my tables didn’t show up at all & i had to throw out ten perfectly good, untouched meals. i’ve gone hungry in my lifetime; it made me enraged to throw all that food out. i said, to the guy wheeling around the garbage can, “god bless america, huh?” in a sarcastic tone. he just looked at me funny.