Today one of the Make-A-Wish recipients came in to have lunch. 11 year-old Grace Kesablak’s wish was to be famous for a day. She had paparazzi following her every move, which included shopping and eating around Beverly Hills and even an appearance at the Young Hollywood Awards (where Justin Bieber pulled her on stage and dedicated an award to her). I had a quick break in between the eight virgin piña coladas and Oreo shake, so I snuck over to her table.
      “Grace,” I said nervously. “I’ve never done this before, but would you mind signing this?” I said as I handed her a bev nap.
      “I don’t mind at all,” she said happily.
      “I’ve waited on a lot of celebrities, but no one has ever come close to being as important as you! Thank you so much.”
      It was a really tender moment. Unfortunately, things turned sour an hour later when you’ll never guess who walked in. Actually, you will. Yeap, it was Linda. We made eye contact, I smiled, then looked down. When I looked up she was sitting right in front of me, fresh faced. I kept it professional, offering a drink when needed, but never once engaging in a conversation deeper than, “How’s everything tasting?” She tried to reel me in with stories about her new cat or pictures of her face after surgery, which were more terrifying than any scary movie I’ve seen in the last 20 years, but I wouldn’t converse back. Just smile and nod. We never talked about her letter, or our relationship, or Tunisia. She had three spritzers (tipped $15 on $25…a $100 tip definitely would have been better) then left. You wanna know what I thought as she walked away? Why couldn’t she be dying of cancer instead of Grace. Gross, I know, but it’s the truth. It went from a very bright morning to a very dark afternoon.

     Today one of the Make-A-Wish recipients came in to have lunch. 11 year-old Grace Kesablak’s wish was to be famous for a day. She had paparazzi following her every move, which included shopping and eating around Beverly Hills and even an appearance at the Young Hollywood Awards (where Justin Bieber pulled her on stage and dedicated an award to her). I had a quick break in between the eight virgin piña coladas and Oreo shake, so I snuck over to her table.

      “Grace,” I said nervously. “I’ve never done this before, but would you mind signing this?” I said as I handed her a bev nap.

      “I don’t mind at all,” she said happily.

      “I’ve waited on a lot of celebrities, but no one has ever come close to being as important as you! Thank you so much.”

      It was a really tender moment. Unfortunately, things turned sour an hour later when you’ll never guess who walked in. Actually, you will. Yeap, it was Linda. We made eye contact, I smiled, then looked down. When I looked up she was sitting right in front of me, fresh faced. I kept it professional, offering a drink when needed, but never once engaging in a conversation deeper than, “How’s everything tasting?” She tried to reel me in with stories about her new cat or pictures of her face after surgery, which were more terrifying than any scary movie I’ve seen in the last 20 years, but I wouldn’t converse back. Just smile and nod. We never talked about her letter, or our relationship, or Tunisia. She had three spritzers (tipped $15 on $25…a $100 tip definitely would have been better) then left. You wanna know what I thought as she walked away? Why couldn’t she be dying of cancer instead of Grace. Gross, I know, but it’s the truth. It went from a very bright morning to a very dark afternoon.


Hollywood
Madonna
Greatest Hits Disc 2

The List

     I e-mailed Sweet D with a few questions about what I should bring. She told me to leave the computer at home, but there were a few other things I should pack. I love how she knows exactly how to explain things to me, simply yet thoroughly, as she’s dealt with my fluttering brain before:

     Let’s talk alcohol :) I would love it if you could bring a bottle of Maker’s mark and Milagro Reprosado in your suit case. If you tell the store you need a packing box for them they should be able to give you a little cardboard box to pack them in. I will totally give you money for those when you get here. Those two aren’t carried by most duty free shops so that’s why I am asking for you to bring them in your suitcase, but if you are worried about them breaking, I totally understand. I did once bring ten bottles of vodka back from Russia in my suitcase without a problem but I would understand :) 
  Now at duty free you are allowed to bring three bottles into the country from duty free. You can shop in Dubai or there is a duty free store in Tunis right next to the luggage retrival so you can also pop into that duty free while you are waiting for your bags. Buy whatever you want to drink. Whiskey, Rum, Vodka, Tequila… Z doesn’t drink hard A so it”s for you and me. If they have any bottles of sparkling wine that aren’t super expensive I would love a bottle of bubbly, or maybe some conitrue,triple sec or grand ma for the margaritas. What ever you feel like. If you want Aperol I can make us some yummy wine spritzers. That will be all the money you will spend on alcohol once you get here. the beer and wine Z and I will be paying for. 
I am soooo excited. I miss you so much and can not wait to see my Papi.
dddddddd
       I’m going to follow directions exactly. I’m gonna pack a bottle of Maker’s and Milagro (or maybe Cazadores) in my luggage on the way there. Then at duty free I’m gonna grab a bottle of bubbly, Grand Marnier, and Aperol. I can’t wait to be sippin’ on Spritzers in Tunisia! Imagine if I ran into Linda on the dunes. Her silhouette walking over the hill, the fading sun against her back, scarf blowing in the sand storm, a sideways shuffle as she picks a strand of hair out of her mouth with her left hand and a spriter in her right hand. Oh, it’s fun to fantasize how our reunion might go. For real though, let’s just hope I don’t get questioned at customs for trying to smuggle an illegal amount of alcohol into an Islamic country.


      I had to wake up extra early this morning to attend a mandatory meeting at Job #1. It was to learn about the new drinks we’ll be offering. One of them is a spicy pineapple margarita with jalapeno flavored tequila garnished with red peppers. It tasted like the basement of my old church. One of the other bartenders, a fellow gay who never misses happy hour at Marix Cafe, tasted it then spit it out in the sink.

      “And I never spit,” he said with a disgusted look on his face.

      Right after the meeting I zipped down to Job #2. It was a busy morning so I didn’t have time to flirt with my favorite regulars, a pair of YouTube gamers from Spain. I think they’re gay, but I’m not sure. They could just be really dorky. Or they could be both, which is my favorite. I’ve been trying my hardest to weasel my way into their hearts so that one day they’ll invite me to hang out, but for now they just chuckle uncomfortably when I tell them that I’m so busy I’m “corriendo como una loca.”

     Halfway through my shift, Nayesha’s younger brother sat in my section while he waited for her to get off.  He was sweet and didn’t say much as he drank his Sprite and nibbled on fries. When Nayesha was paying for it, she told me that he thought I was cute.

      “He wanted to know if you’re single,” she said.

     “Oh honey, I don’t date….”

      She raised her eyebrow waiting for me to finish.

      “Young people.”

      “I knew it,” she said. “I told him you were too old.”

     “Just how old is he?”

     “18.”

     “Hot damn Nayesha!” I exclaimed. “That’s illegal in some states.”

      When I got home, I spotted The Georgian’s car parked on my street. He’s still using my old permit and hasn’t gotten a ticket yet. The other day the landlord’s daughter gave me a key because they’re starting to lock the back gate due to a suspicious man that’s been “lingering around.” I didn’t ask for a description, fearing that it might match The Georgian. He doesn’t linger, but he’s been known to sway while peeing in the alley. I told him to just use my bathroom, but he said he doesn’t like my rule of sitting down while peeing. I’m sorry, but have you ever taken a piss in shorts and barefooted? There’s a lot of splattering that I don’t wanna clean up.

      When I got upstairs, I looked out my window and saw that they finally broke ground on the lot behind my apartment. Three years of silence has come to an end. I’m hoping that the jackhammer at 7 a.m. prompts me to get up and start my day, instead of like last time when all it did was make me cover my head and be grumpy. 


$ MONEY $ MONEY $ MONEY $

      If Job #2 scratches my back (lets me have time off for Africa), then I’ll scratch their back (train new people). Yesterday, I trained this sweet, all-American girl from the Inland Empire who had soft brown eyes and a master’s degree in education. She wants to be a music teacher. She’s totally the type of girl I’d date if she were a gay man.

     ”He was mean,” she said about the ex she recently moved in with, but bailed after a week when she realized it wasn’t working out. “He was self-conscious about being short and would try to make it my fault by saying things like, ‘You’re just too tall.’ Ugh, he was…gross.”

      I’ve been talking about my Tunisian trip a lot lately. Actually, it’s all I talk about. So much in fact that the other day Nixxx came up to the service bar and overheard me telling a guest how I plan on staying in the Dubai airport for the first layover, but on the way back I’ll probably take advantage of the free room my travel agent hooked me up with, when she said, “Oh Lord. Not this story again. If I have to hear about Tunisia one more time, I’m gonna…”

      “What?” I asked. “You’re gonna what? Now get out of here. Scram, beat it!” 

       She grabbed her drink and slithered away.

      “So anyway,” I said as I put the woman’s change in her left hand. In her right hand she had a hundred dollar bill.

      “Have fun in Tunisia,” she said as she passed it to me.

      “Whoa,” I said like Kit De Luca did when Vivienne handed her a wad of cash at the end of Pretty Woman. “That’s so generous of you. Thank you so much! You have no idea how helpful this is.” I quickly threw it in my stainless steel champagne bucket with the rest of my tips. “Have you been to Tunisia before?”

     ”I’m from around that area,” she said with a wink then collected her Cartier and David Yurman bags and walked out.

      Fuck yeah woman from somewhere in North Africa! Looks like I’m back on track to buying that nugget of gold in Dubai.


     I’m infested. It’s happened before and it’s happening again…My apartment has ants. They’re everywhere. I’ll wake up and find a trail. I’ll locate the hole and spray it down. I’ll go to work and return to find a new trail. They love food, so I’m constantly wiping down counters and making sure I don’t leave any crumbs behind (yesterday, I followed a trail to a crispy Raisin Bran Crunch flake that had fallen under the table). I’m curious if this is something the landlord should take care of, or will he charge me for it?  I don’t wanna spend any extra money right now, so I’m dealing with it on my own. 

     I’m infested. It’s happened before and it’s happening again…My apartment has ants. They’re everywhere. I’ll wake up and find a trail. I’ll locate the hole and spray it down. I’ll go to work and return to find a new trail. They love food, so I’m constantly wiping down counters and making sure I don’t leave any crumbs behind (yesterday, I followed a trail to a crispy Raisin Bran Crunch flake that had fallen under the table). I’m curious if this is something the landlord should take care of, or will he charge me for it?  I don’t wanna spend any extra money right now, so I’m dealing with it on my own.