Sunday, October 21, 2007

Meet My New Friend

I started picking up catering gigs at Laurey's, which is a real nice place to work.
Yesterday I helped out at a wedding which was located near Marion in this amazing building in the middle of a lake. The place is called "The Casino" because during Prohibition, people could still gamble and drink there because it's not on land. There's a 300 ft. boardwalk leading to it that I don't think was originally part of it.
Of course it was really beautiful. We set up the tables, the linens, the table decorations, etc. I got put on bartending duty with a man who was in our crew and later helped with the serving and cleaning, etc.
It's a really fun job and I enjoy it. There's a lot of heavy lifting and hard work. I got to the shop at 11am and we didn't get back until 3am. Today I'm very sore and pretty tired.
I just thought I would mention that if I ever get married, I will not have a wedding. There are a few reasons why I don't think it would be a good idea to have a wedding anyway, but after catering this one, I definitely won't have a big party.
There was a lot of booze at this wedding. Everyone got pretty wasted. It wasn't pretty at all. I hate to think that these people decided to start the most important day of their relationship together surrounded by people who were so intoxicated they could barely function. I would have been embarrassed. Especially being surrounded by so much family that cares about them so much.
I was in the kitchen somewhere between 10 and 11pm and as I looked up and out the door into the hallway, a girl passed by, leaned over, and vomited on the floor. She then continued the vomit in our recycling bin, and then someone led her into the bathroom to continue vomiting. Half an hour later, she was caught with a six-pack in her hand.
I watched the best man make out with a window.
A man and woman got into an argument on the deck, and after shoving her, the man started chugging wine out of the bottle. Then when he finished it, he handed it to someone on my team to dispose of.
I guess as weddings go, it wasn't a terrible disaster. It definitely could have been worse. After spending 16 hours catering to a bunch of rich people and then having to clean up their puke and about 15 broken glasses and 12 broken beer bottles, I was somewhat disillusioned with the whole wedding party thing. Can you blame me?
I did get to take home this little friend, which was part of one of the table settings. It's a plant called "String of Pearls". I thought it was a succulent, but it's not. It's in the sunflower family. It's really odd and I've never seen anything like it before. I like it. :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I'm reading Henry Miller's "Black Spring" and today I was having somewhat of a Miller Moment, so I went downtown with my sketchbook to draw in Pritchard Park.
Prichard Park, if you are not from Asheville, is the place where the Friday evening drum circle is held, and when that's not happening, it is where the bums hang out. Always good, if not a little scary, for people-watching.
When I got there, there were three people playing instruments (banjo, guitar, and something else) so I started to draw them, but they all left. That left not much else besides a bunch of pigeons and about 8 people who were scheming on how to get a dollar out of me.
I watched a few of them on top of the stone steps feeding the birds. They swarmed around them furiously. When they ran out of crumbs, they resorted to trying to catch them.
A young-looking guy with grey hair pulled into a ponytail sat near me and asked if I was writing poetry. I said no and he acted as if he didn't believe me. His name was Scott, he said. He was pleasant, from out of town, but wanted no directions or suggestions about the city. He walked away, looking happy.
As soon as Scott left, one of the guys caught a pigeon. It flapped it wings tremendously, trying to escape, but it was caught by the tail. Everyone thought that was pretty funny, and finally it must have beat it's wings hard enough to break free, because suddenly the guy was standing there with a fistful of feathers. He seemed perturbed by that and his friend retaliated by attempting to lob a bag of nuts at the pigeons that had bravely stayed behind.
I don't know what the segue was for the next bit, because I was about to leave in disgust, but the same guy who was dealing with the pigeons said something to a homeless woman that she didn't like. They yelled back and forth and a very thin, young homeless boy ran over to interrupt. The woman pulled a knife out of her backpack expertly and brandished it in front of the fat man. She held it behind her back and no one came forward. He just stood there dumbly. Stuffed animals were falling out of her now open backpack. Someone picked up a dropped hat.
She folded the knife after a few moments, and no sooner had she walked away, the fat man picked up a couple of glass salad dressing bottles and started threatening the skinny guy with them. He wrestled one out of his hand and they sparred with them before one fell. It was plastic.
The fat one yelled and then threw both of them down onto the cement, where they crashed into white-coated pieces.
He got run out after that and everyone started to pick up. I found a few shards and tossed them away. It was all I could do since everyone jumped to help so quickly; before I could even walk across the pavilion.
I left the park and found Scott on the next street standing next to another young-looking guy playing guitar. He had messy reddish hair. I can't remember his name.
I asked if it was OK to stand with them, and Scott asked me a lot of questions about where I was from, how I got to Asheville, and literature. He and his friend had been traveling in a van from Ohio and ran out of gas around the corner. But they both liked it in Asheville and were going to stay for a while. Scott thought he might move here permanently.
We all walked over to the Dripolator to see if they would let them play guitar for tips, but it was a no-go. Scott bought a cup of coffee and we all sat outside talking about strange things that had happened along the way.
It was really very pleasant. I wish I had had more to offer them. Maybe they wouldn't have wanted it that way.