Sunday, June 24, 2012
A Fancy Flush
My life is nothing short of glamorous lately. I find myself drinking too much, wanting to eat skittles, cheeseburgers and cake every hour on the hour. Glamour.
Like if I become a diabetic alcoholic explosion, I will only have to worry about that and not whether or not I am doing something substantial with my life...
Logic has never been my strong suit.
About a month ago I really found myself questioning my life and my choices.
I work at a fancy restaurant, with fancy customers and fancy prices and sometimes extra fancy people buy the restaurant for a great big fancy party celebrating their fancy lives.
I can assure you that when I am scheduled to work these fancy parties...my life is less than fancy.
How many times did I just say fancy?
So I get to work that night and I am told that I will be standing outside our bathrooms with a tray to hold our fancy party goers drinks, while they pee, snort coke, have sex, vomit, or just simply go #2.
I begrudgingly take my tray, head to the bathrooms and prepare for battle.
As the party started I contemplated life, as I stood in what felt like solitary confinement.
And then it was about time for the drunks to break the seal...and we all know that once the seal is broken there is no turning back.
At first people seemed bewildered that I was willing to hold their drinks while they were in dispose ( I use the term willing as loosely as possible). And then I started to keep a tally of all the d-bag men who said "feel free to slip a roofy in there, if you want." Everyone's a goddamned comedian.
Then I began to notice that there was this young kid, who was maybe 17 or so standing not too far from me. He was clearly at the party as he was dressed to the nines but he was also very clearly out of place. Once the wave of seal breakers subsided for a moment I decided to ask him how his night was.
"You enjoying the party?" I inquired.
"Yeah, it's great! I've never been to anything like this or seen so many celebrities."
"Yeah..." I replied with feigned excitement.
"Anjelica Houston is wasted..." I said desperate to keep this rare moment of human interaction on nights like these going.
"Oh really? I haven't seen her yet."
"I've started to time how long it takes her to need to go the bathroom, again...she should be back in about ten minutes if my timing is accurate."
"It's weird seeing her so sloppy...but she always thanks me for holding her drink...which is a change of pace tonight."
"How did you get stuck with this job." ( a question I had been thinking all night)
" I think my managers know I am the only one who wouldn't outwardly complain about doing it."
(cue silence as I imagine how fitting it would be to dress as a welcome mat for Halloween this year.)
"So do you do something else other than hold drinks?" he said cheekily breaking the silence.
"Ha! Yeah...I'm an actor...go figure, right?"
He then took a general interest in my life as an actor. I told him all about the shows I've been working on and my future goals and artistic dreams and he then shared with me his plans to attend Boston University in the fall for film production and we sweetly shared a moment of hope for the future. It was nice. It made me feel less jaded and when you've been standing outside a bathroom for hours, that's hard to do.
He then headed back into the party.
"I'll see you later." he said.
"You know where to find me."
And off he went. I wish my night ended there. With a lovely interaction with a kid who was generally enthused by life. Contagious enthusiasm. And for that i was grateful.
But alas, the beat down goes on...
Now throughout the night there was this...guy...this guy who was clearly trying to make connections with the fancy people all night...trying so hard that he was definitely following people to the bathroom...waiting for them to come out and magically give notice how AMAZING he was and demand that he be the next Robert Deniro...
He felt it was his job to try to make me feel small, uninformed and unimportant. Did he not realize I was bathroom duty girl that night?
"You know who that is?"
"An old MTV VJ?" I replied aging myself...
"Yeah she's a big deal."
I then sat back and watched this guy make a complete and total ass of himself as this middle aged couple approaches our general direction.
I have to give you the complete visual of this couple so you can fully appreciate the following interaction...
The woman was dressed up lavishly as if to distract from the obscene amount of plastic surgery she has undergone, which I can only assume she endured to preserve her youth when in truth it just made her look 30 years older and left her with a face that conjured images of taking a lighter to a Barbie Doll's face and watching it melt.
The man was wearing khakis a respectable sweater and dark rimmed glasses that framed his happy little older man face.
Ok got it? Good.
Now the woman retreats to the bathroom and her husband strikes up a conversation with me by telling me I have a great haircut and asks me who my stylist was...
I don't know if it was my delayed response to his question because I was wondering if this man really thought the girl holding the tray outside the shitter of this party actually had a "stylist" or if was the obscene eagerness for my painfully annoying social climbing acquaintance that lead to the conversation to completely exclude me but it very much did as Ass Kissing Adam here asked the gentleman what had brought him to the party tonight...I mean what could I possibly contribute to that conversation? It was ever so clear as to why I was there...
The gentleman then revealed that his wife was a major celebrity talent agent...which quite possibly could have been the worst thing to mention to this ass hat...
He then began to give this poor man his life story about how he works in finance but his ultimate dream is to become an actor, and eventually melting Barbie came out of the bathroom and slowly began to realize that her husband had outed her profession to Ass Kiss Adam and she graciously told him a bit about the business and even more graciously accepted his Meryl Lynch business card, you know...so she can make him the next Robert DeNiro...and then they left.
Realizing I was there to witness the entire interaction Ass Kiss Adam felt the need to tell me how big of a deal that conversation was and even went so far as to say "this is how stars are made." and then obligatorily asked me if I was an actor and without hesitation I immediately said "no." And then he left me but not before saying "that was a BIG deal."
He left me there, tray in hand wondering why....
Why did I say I wasn't an actor?
Why didn't I try to schmooze the big wig?
The plain truth was...I didn't care or want to. I mean my self-degrading credit card had already been maxed out the moment I planted myself outside the bathroom that night...why should I make myself feel worse by grappling like he did?
It's so easy to look back on crazy New York moments like that and see a missed opportunity but hindsight actually fills me with perspective and not regret.
While it was easy to feel subhuman that night, I ironically learned more about myself as a normal human and as an artistic human.
I refuse to take the path of Ass Kiss Adam because I have seen greatness and success in unconventional ways. I've been deeply inspired by my friends, who are true artists...who are hungry to create more than they are hungry for fame and fortune. I have seen them shine on stage after a year of relentless and often no pay work. I have been inspired by their growth and passion. I have been a part of total selfless devotion and collaboration to produce a home made show and I know what it feels like to know that together we've created magic. I have seen us all struggle deeply as the bitter life of a young actor in New York or simply just a young human in New York beat us down to tears and frustration...but we have overcome and we keep going because we are passionate creators.
Perhaps that's not ideal...perhaps thats crazy but the people and things I love most in life and wildly unideal and crazy but to me, that makes them more beautiful.
As I look back on that night I think of my young friend from the beginning of the night and I truly hope he finds a community of artists that inspire him as I have...because if he is ever on bathroom duty because he needs to make money somehow so he can live the artistic life he wants, at the end of the night he won't think that his life has gone terribly wrong but instead he will know that he's done something right because he is forging his own path...and that path is not simply fancy...it is passionate, it's grueling but it's real and it's human and unique. It's endurance and beauty. It's something to fight for and something to stand proudly next to.
Like I said....I truly do live a glamourous life.
Posted by Sexless in the Boroughs at 8:34 PM