Yesterday afternoon, the phone call from the boss. Come help out, be ambassador of the restaurant at the Bastille Day event at the French Embassy, serving braised veal cheeks osso bucco style. "Well, okay," I say, agreeably enough. "It will only be a few hours."
I end up staying after we pack up our steam table trays. A good Buddhist day interrupted, falling into the mire of a Fellini scene, Big Band, singer in red dress, diplomats, well-dressed Washington people. I make my rounds through the restaurant people who've set up representative servings on long tables. Across from us, Cafe Du Parc. Over there, Ris. Next to us Chez Billy. I end up talking to a nice lady from the Vendee presiding over a well celebrated head cheese and who knows pretty much everyone in the business, Jean Louis, Boulud... and she's kind enough to chat with me. All the while, of course, a little wine, a taste of Eole Provence red, two reds from Morocco near the Atlas Mountains, a Merlot from the D'Oc, a couple glasses of Cotes Du Rhone, drinking like I do in such situations to make up for lost time, a release from the strange discomfort of being in such an aimless business as serving people when they come by.
I get a ride home from my bro back at the restaurant as I've left my keys there in my courier bag.
The mind changes. Yesterday's problems recede. Things shift, move on, do not stay fixed. A new set of problems, a change of emotional reactions, new day.