A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Espresso Guy

Today is Thanksgiving. It may be turkey day in most households, but not here. Since I'm a vegetarian, I don't even bother to invite people over on this holiday. I had several invitations to go out, but politely declined all of them. Last week I was involved in a car accident, and Monday and Tuesday were extremely long days on the set of The Box. I was leaving the house at 4 a.m. to get to the Boston area, standing around in the cold for hours on end, and not getting home till late at night. The pleasantest holiday I could conjure up was resting up for Saturday, which is our Crucial Xgiving feast.

Tuesday was particularly cold, and it even snowed a bit. What looked like ashes swirling down from the sky soon turned to rain. The film crew rushed around, erecting canopies and zippered tents over all the equipment, but kept on shooting. After a while, I couldn't feel my feet.

Most of the extras on Tuesday were vintage car owners like me, hired strictly to drive their cars. I was the only one who'd ever been on a set before. The others didn't really know the drill. I overheard one man asking politely if he could go buy himself a sandwich somewhere, not realizing that there's more free and fancy food on a movie set than on a cruise liner.

Early in the morning, the narrow streets surrounding Milton Academy were completely taken over by trucks and equipment. Booms, cranes, eighteen-wheelers, vans, and budget rental trucks clogged the lanes. The parade of vintage automobiles was bottlenecked for a while, vying for passage with the vehicles transporting all the movie gear. Exhaust from the V-8 engines filled the air as drivers idled their engines, trying to keep warm. I was stopped right alongside a guy setting up an espresso machine in between two big rigs. Man, did it look inviting.

The driver in front of me must have been thinking the same thing. He hopped out of his car and engaged the espresso guy in conversation. Yeah, it's freezing, agreed Espresso Guy. I'm from California....this is really bad. I'm here for Cameron. Cameron flies me with her wherever she films, just to make the espresso. Can you have a coffee? Sure! How about a cappuccino? That's a coffee with hot milk....

That was it. If he could score a coffee, I could score a coffee. I gave a queenly wave, got a high sign in return, and before long was being served a lovely, hot cappuccino. Thanks, Cameron, for sharing.

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