Sunday, March 10, 2013

Calling: I Saved the Mayor

You might remember a few weeks ago.  If not, you should see a neurologist.

Let me be more specific.  You probably remember that a few weeks back, I was pushed to the brink of insanity by the state of the world in Chicago.  I was sick; I hurt my back; someone was exploiting my blog.  In a fit of melancholy and typos, I retreated the States in favor of the rural territory of Costa Rica.  Everything got better. 

On the pacific coast of Costa Rica, it's 90 degrees on a regular basis.  The beaches look like there should be dinosaurs, and you can see the moon during the day.  Within a matter of hours there, my cold went away, my back healed, and my frustration with the English language was averted. 

Unfortunately, I had a return ticket, and after two glorious weeks of healing, I came back to the frozen Midwest.  Since arriving back in Chicago, I've experienced a snowstorm, a broken bicycle, a ripped winter coat, and a nose that is gleefully running again.  More importantly, things just haven't been the same around these parts.  I've felt aimless and wandery, moreso than before.  The culture that raised me feels aggressive and busy.  Even the old sporting matches which I once enjoyed haven't held their usual vigor.  A question I can't answer is following me around like someone else's younger sister that I don't want to babysit, pinching me repeatedly and whining, "Why?  Why did you come back?" 

My only answer has been, "I have no idea, but there must be a purpose." 


Why, because I need money of course!


Because I had a return ticket?


Because I have a career here?


I . . . don't . . . know.

And then it happened.  Last night, I worked a fundraising event for Redmoon called Spectacle Lunatique.  My duty?  Serve champagne.  More specifically, I was to stand with a tray of glasses in front of this contraption, which was outfitted with a giant decorative chandelier and a silks artist.  Whenever someone at the party made a $500 donation, we would drive over to them, and the silks artist would descend with a bottle of champagne, pouring from above to fill the glasses on my tray so I could hand them to the elite.

Serving champagne is not the meaning I have found again in Chicago.

The champagne chandelier was popular.  One might call it uberpopular.  At regular intervals, we were pouring so much champagne that we needed to lower the chandelier and refill it with full bottles of priceless bubbly.  This operation required that we clear an area in the room of drunk, ignorant bystanders so as not to crush the skulls of valuable donors as a 7,000 pound chandelier descended in near-free-fall toward their heads*

The point?

At approximately 9:11 CST^, Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrived at the party, choosing for his entrance the door in closest proximity to the champagne chandelier, which at that very moment we were lowering to refill with priceless French wine.  As the chandelier barreled toward the floor, the mayor walked closer and closer, never once looking up to see the life-threatening peril he was shuffling straight into.  Security did nothing.  Bystanders did nothing.  Finally, I (and I alone) threw aside my tray of glasses, tackled the mayor out of the way of the chandelier, dragged him to safety, and lay on top of him on the floor, gently stroking his aging locks and softly humming Phantom of the Opera to comfort him. 

Others may remember it differently.  They may not have even noticed my heroic act, or they may recollect it as a gentle vocal urging toward the mayor as the chandelier descended slowly and safely a few feet away from him.  However, history, dear "like"-rs, is written by the victors. 

For the first time in weeks, I count myself among them.  


* You know, more or less. 
^ Coincidence?