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.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What I Had for Lunch Today: Bad Movie Food

Today I was on the set of Edge of Darkness, the Mel Gibson movie that's filming in Northampton right now. Alma, her daughter, Rebecca, and I were anti-war protestors in today's shoot. Rebecca had carefully done her hair and makeup in preparation for her first movie gig. Wardrobe put her in a white bunny suit and gas mask, completely obscuring her face and figure. With an identically-costumed young woman, she held up a large banner-style sign. So much for being discovered!

Alma and I wore matching barbecue-chef-style aprons decorated with rainbows, peace signs, flowers, and so forth, as well as "Ask for Peace" painted in big letters. The warbrobe lady called us "Housewives for peace." Others carried guitars, beat African-style drums, or waved signs. Lots of headbands, long scarves, long skirts. It was groovy, man. We stood on the corner of Main and Pleasant Streets in Noho, chanting "No more war!" as Mel Gibson drove past with a movie camera affixed to the driver's seat, right behind his shoulder, panning our little group.

Sometimes the food on the set is amazing. This was not. Although we arrived promptly for our 5:30 call time, the scrambled eggs and hash browns were barely warm by the time we were told to grab some breakfast, and the coffee had run out. Nobody knew where craft services had been moved, and breaks between takes were too brief for me to hunt down a hot, caffeinated beverage. The temperature did rise from 41 degrees to 60 by the time we broke for lunch, but that did nothing to prevent the withdrawal headache I was getting.

Lunch was a sorry affair of dried-out chicken breasts and pot roast. For vegetarians, bland rice, bland potatoes, bland pasta salad, pedestrian corn and salad, and dry yellow cake topped with a wash of red dye #40. Watery fruit punch; no coffee. It was a wrap for the protestors, so I dashed through wardrobe and checkout, and while Alma and Rebecca loitered, I hightailed it to the Haymarket for a cup of tea. My only out-of-pocket expense for the day, but I wasn't protesting.


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