Will sweeping. Offered to help, but he’s in a distinguished swoon. Don’t want to interrupt. As the bristles against the tiles scrape, dust is projected, like ash from battle-blanketed streets, or a tomb, disintegrated bone. With such ethereal elements on the other side of the glass doors, we are trapped in here. In this tomb. Maybe I need a sip. Sauv Blanc? The breakfast bottle, as Auggie calls it.
Older couple. Laughed when I said “When times are tough, people drink,” referring to the tough economy. They asked how we were doing in such financially uncertain scenes.
Someone just used the term “foodie.” Hate that word. Look, some enjoy wine with food, some don’t. It is truly that simple. No tag necessary.
Tired. Cranky. Too much of that ’05 Cab last night, and Katie’s Chardonnay. Damn this wine!
10:49a. Long day, Mike was sure. His limbs, even language, process of thought, felt twisted. He was unable to untangle. Still, he managed to record a couple items in his little book. How was he going to make it to 5p?
“So what else is new, man? How’s your teaching going?” Will asked, setting the broom aside. “How is everything for ya there, Bob?” he said, imitating that Chris Farley skit where he enacted the obsessed super fan.
Mike laughed. He could never hold in the reaction to Will’s hilarity. “Everything A-okay, Bob.” They laughed, continued with the Chicago-staccato’d improv. “School is on my last nerve. There’s no work.”
“Yeah, that has to be tough,” Will added. “Sorry, bro.” Guests approached, their postures pushed into the collective professional.
Growing disdain for this Room, its invaders. No peace. I should be outside, walking around that vineyard, vineyards. Writing. Those mountains, talking to me, urging a flee.
Will and I just saw a semi turn around, alarmingly close to the first row of Syrah grapes. The driver managed to maneuver his I-don’t-know-how-many-wheeled monster on just a slice of gavel path. Will and I are going back for with this puzzling moment, reality. How did he do that? What an odd event to witness from the Room. Trying, in my head, to calculate this driver’s performance. Horrible at math, don’t try. Part of me wants to go out and tell him to back off. I love Syrah, and want to protect it. Okay, now I am getting deranged, delusional. Where’s that breakfast bottle?
4 from NC. Funny, kind, joined the club. They spoke to each other with such a smoothness, Southern slang, strangely elegant, sophisticated. Would love to visit North Carolina. Counting the money I have, in my account, in my head. Calculating this possibility. My math skills, remedial, child-like, at best. Whatever. I’m sure I can’t afford it.
Outside, Heaven. The Room, a punishing Purgatory. Refusing to sip the Sauv.
More San Diego people. Was there a memo?
Just when I was beginning to open myself up to club members, I’m greeted by a pig. Group of 4, Mark helping them at the other end of the bar. He went into the VIP room to fetch some artisan bottle. I approached, with discretion and humility. “How’s everything going? Mark treating you guys right?” The piggish club member said, “Well, he’s a manager, what do you think?” Get me out of this box. Put me in the vineyard, in the sun, away from these pretentious clowns.
Shackled by this shift. At least Will persists with the Chris Farley bit. Can’t get enough of it. “How about a nice pork product sandwich there, Bob?” He just reminded me of the meeting immediately after the day. Am going to be here even longer. At least we get dinner, free wine. Fair middle-ground. I suppose.
Two friends. Male from Green Bay, WI, woman (older) from southeast Alaska (can’t remember name of town; it was a “town,” she said). She, very artsy, featherish with her descriptors, but somewhat bitter and snappy. She asked for some water, complained when I gave her a wine glass with water from tap. She lectured on how water shouldn’t ever go in a wine glass, and how tap water is full of toxins, and evil things the corporation “vomit into our streams,” she said. What?
Just found a red dot, a couple of them, on my shirt. Damn puddles on the wooden edge of the counter. The dots, on the abdomen portion, and yes, they are red, dark red. Must be the Petit Sirah from Dry Creek.
Sipping the SB. Need it, in order to extinguish this claustrophobia, eagerness to leave, coping with the Now, that I’m going to be here until at least 7p. It’s just after 12p. That’s a galaxy away. Sip, sip...
Trying to calculate exactly how much time I have left in the shift. Take away the 30 min for lunch (which is ridiculous! Moronic, menial PAST management), the cleanup/promo-ing of bottles...forget it. No more math.
A guest just tried our ’05 Merlot. “Pretty good for a Merlot,” he said. What’s that supposed to mean? Poor Merlot.
1:02p. Time for lunch. Should I tough it out till 2? Just asked Mark if that’s okay. He said “1:50.” Traffic is increasing. Wouldn’t be shocked if I don’t get out till 2:30p.
Nice couple from Salt Lake City, UT. “4 of 4, all with 4 stars,” the man with an amazing camera said. He showed me the pictures he took, how his professional device functions, the options, modes, etc. Inspires me to get my few pictures developed. Makes me realize I need a new hobby. Why not photography? That’s art, fun, a healthy hobby, right?
2:51p. Back from lunch. Will doing aroma workshop in VIP room. He remerged, approached me with an intoxicated gaze and glaze to his eyes. “The fumes are making me nauseous, man. They’re strong. Come back and check it out.” No thanks, I said. Went back there a few minutes later to make sure he was standing, lucid. Found he had acclimated. Should have sampled the scents. Would have been an interesting experience, valuable for my pages.
Some jerk limo driver just yelled at Cara and I. He complained about our phone system, how no one would pick up, and how our winery needs better arrangements for his passengers. I asked if he was from California Wine Tours. He said, “Don’t ever say that in my presence! They’re the enemy!” He then arrogantly shot his business card onto the marble, more or less in my direction.
Couple from AZ likes the ’05 Cab, the paramount culprit in this morning’s sluggishness. Part of me wants to dislike them, the other praise their taste in wine.
Closing register, calculating totals. Hope I got them right. Day finally past. Now, the meeting. Good, I need dinner, a free dinner.