Anatomy of a Reunion: Part 8 – Masa


Paul drives. I ride.I don’t navigate so much because I’m out of my element. North Tacoma is a vast wasteland to me.A labyrinth of concrete and mothers pushing babies in strollers.Even when I lived here, North Tacoma wasn’t a common destination for my circle of friends.Lakewood was our territory.We like the woods, lakes and grass fields adjacent to the quiet one post-office town of Steilacoom. Therefore, without my assistance, Paul works his way to 6th Ave, a main arterial that cuts across the peninsula that houses the city.

We talk quite abit about Paul’s older brother, Jack.As class or two ahead of us, Jack is the type of guy that God smiles down on.Everything goes his way.To celebrate his high school graduation, he and some classmates went down to Los Angeles.You know, just because.Not only did Jack get chosen to be a contestant on the Price Is Right, but he won the Showcase, was given the keys to City Hall, and married Vanna White.Actually the last two events I made up.But. You get the picture.When I was a mere two years living in Los Angeles, I had started working as security for special events – Oscars, Red Carpet Premieres, the re-coloring of Dennis Rodman’s hair.One night I’m working the Golden Globes, making sure the fanatics and autograph junkies don’t flood the doors and trample Neve Campbell.As a sidenote, these autograph hounds are SCARY.They are smart, methodical, organized, and they will not stop. EVER.They carry around backpacks filled with headshots of celebrities, alphabetized for easy and fast access in case of a siting.They put the highschool debate team to shame with the information they have at their immediate fingertips.At my position, which was the main route to the Vanity Fair afterparty, there was a set of glass doors that separated myself from a cache of these fanatics, their noses against the window like children at the shark tank of the local aquarium.Each time a celebrity walked by, one of them would push the door open and the hall would become a cacophony of shouting and yelling.It didn’t matter who the celebrity was.Kristi Yamaguchi?Come on…why is she even at this event?There’s no ice.

Honestly, everytime that door opened, it was like the 1964 arrival of the Beatles at JFK International, but in micro.Not as many screaming female teens, but just as much energy.

I had just run interference for David Duchovny – not that he needs it standing at 6’3”, but, hey, its my job.I turn, and Jack W. is standing there in a tuxedo, looking around with a tangible sense of purpose.

“Jack! What the hell are you doin here, man?!” I shout with sincere enthusiasm.

He smiles and greetings me back.He leans in close. “Dude, I’m crashin’ this party.Totally crashing it.No ticket. No nothing.What the hell are you doin?”

I smile back and indicate for him to come closer.Playing up the inevitable drama to the hilt. I whisper, “I’m security, trying to prevent people from crashing this party.Shhhhh.”I lean back and look around to check if anyone’s watching.

Jack looks me, his mouth agape.Speechless. “Ummmm….”

I stare back at him without cracking a smile.

“Ummmm….” He continues.I can see his brain whirring behind his eyes.

I grin a sideways grin. “Don’t worry about it, man.You’ve gotten into the inner circle.I’m not gonna be the one to turn you in.”

His shoulders drop in a sigh and a Whew!“Dude, I thought I was totally busted.”

I send him on his way, and to my recollection he had a great time at the party.

Anyway, Paul informs me that Jack is doing video work in San Bernadino or Burbank, he’s not quite sure on the details, but recommends that I get a hold of him – which I had intended to do anyway.

We wrap our convo as we pull up to the restaurant.

Masa is a quaint restaurant managed by Chris P.’s brother Jeff specializing in Mexican culinary delights.The hostesses indicate to us without much fanfare that the reunion party is upstairs.

This is going to be a whole new deal.Same as the night previous, but it’s a new clique of people.There are some of us making a repeat performance, but its like two circles of people intersecting with one another, where only some are common factors.I have no preference for once group or the other, but it was extremely interesting to see who showed up the previous night and not tonight – and visa versa.

Two of my partner’s in crime from the night before are present, Lisette and TriciaPete isn’t around to bring the band back together.Tonight everyone arrives with their significant others, so can get a look at the husbands of the sirens I had spent the previous night with until the wee hours of the morning.Tricia’s husband is undoubtedly a good looking guy.Chiseled, hawk-like features.But I have to go through the male ceremony of sizing up the competition for the does in the herd – even if there is no plan for the bucks to lock horns.I decide that he’s a cyborg and incapable of love.I’m probably totally wrong, at least on the love part, but hey, I’ll deal with reality in my own ways.

I begin my mingling by meeting the bartender and convincing him that I could benefit him by giving him money if he would, in turn, provide, a Negro Modelo.We come to an agreement, and I go out into the swirling room of classmates with a beer in one hand and my camera in the other.Yes, dear reader, I wasn’t going to be caught not taking pictures tonight.

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