The Main Dish
It's hard being The Host, honey. I mean, Tell me about it, Stud. Chained here night after night (for all that I love the nightlife--love to boogie). Here I sit, same stool, same table, trying to catch a little night music--but it's not like Sondheim ever stops by here, now is it? No.
Once, several years ago--or was it a decade? These things are so hard to keep track of...Anywho, Bernadette Peters?..was briefly tied up (and I do mean tied up) in an unhealthy relationship with a Yuka demon who had a passion for Tears for Fears and my Hilary-Swank little copa here. He'd drag her by, oh, every other night or so to sing for him.
And can the lady sing! HoLY smokin' brass pipes--organists the world over envy THAT vibrato, honey lamb. But I couldn't enjoy it, I couldn't do much of anything except excuse myself after she was finished and try not to let her know how bad it was--the colors coming off her. Oy! (And I'm not even Jewish--although my mother...) Not like that ever works, though. All that low self-esteem and pain, bleeding out all around her--discoloring everything. So I told her. I mean, she asked, didn't she? And so she left him. Best idea I ever gave her. All she needed was a push. Came back a few weeks later, sang a farewell medley from Grease 2. The place glowed for a week after that, sparkled like a girl's best friend. She didn't come around anymore--off to New York, etc.--and still I get to sit here, minding the children. I was glad anyway, that she stopped by that time--sort of cleaned up all the ick she had been putting out there.
Can I have Luis bring you something? No? C'mon. I'm thinking, what, cosmopolitan? And, we'll need to see some ID, naturally--can't just be serving anyone these days...What's that? What do I see? Hard to explain--would you believe it? Puts me at a loss for words. Okay, okay, not really. All these years--I've forgotten what it would be like without it. What I would be like. It's, um, like what? Like in The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy's still in Auntie Em's house, but she's landed in Oz and everything in the house is still in black and white--sepia if you're watching a good cut--but just beyond the front door it's hello-ooo technicolor, Glinda. But the colors are more than that, they're like sensations. Hot, cold. Fear.
Sometimes they jump out at you even when people aren't on stage--if they're strong enough--oh, now wait just a minute! Who's this? If it isn't angry little lawyer Lindsay MacDonald--of the poorer-than-dirt, there's-another-side-to-these-tracks? MacDonalds (and we're not talking about a family who made up for what they lacked in the bank with what they had in the love account, either).
Now that one, well, let's just say no need to give him a hand--look's like someone's already done that. And he's pickin' better than ever, which leaves me grinnin'. I've always said I'm a little bit country, and he's a little bit rock and cold. That is, he wants us to think that--I daresay the Little Big Man thinks it himself. But wrapped up in that tight little package of Law-School-Of-Hard-Knocks bluesy twang--well, keep watching. He's about a day late and a dollar short of a complete melt-down. KAH-blewy. And though he'll blame it on that killer hand he's been given, well, that's only part of his problem. He's a regular Cleopatra (and I'm not talking 2525 here), queen of denial. Tell me you've heard that one before--tell me. I WROTE that one. I am literally the only person on the planet who doesn't have to pay me royalties when I use it.
Excuse me a moment, won't you?
Sorry to have stepped away, there. Business to do, fortunes to tell--or withhold. Busy night. Who was that? Oh, you mean Josie and the Pussycats, there. Well, there's He's-No-Angel, formerly wrestled under the name Angelus. Well, of course you've heard of him, Sugar, we've ALL heard of him. Put to bed with horror stories of what would happen if we misbehaved and he crossed our path, weren't we?
What's changed you want to know? Well more than a few things to be sure. Gypsies (yes, I know that's not the polite term anymore), souls, and slayer, oh my! That's what happened to him. Now he's the ultimate vampire--vampiiiire who needs peeeople. I'm sayin'. And the slayer--at least I assume that's who I'm seeing (never met her in the flesh, myself)--painted all over him (sometimes more than others) more permanently than with my best Marks-a-lot Sharpie. What's she look like? Oh, blonde (she helps it along, though). Strong--strong enough to grab the heart of Scrooge himself--and then beat him to a bloody, broken pulp if he didn't do what she wanted.
Poor lamb, her mother just died (may she rest in peace) and slayerina's managed to unwittingly capture the non-beating pump of one William. That's right, the Bloody one himself--slayer complex and all still quite in tact. What to do, what to do. What to do? I'll tell you what to do--apply old, useless piece of kindling to said pump and be rid of obsession. But anyway...
With the heavenly one, there stands one recently self-proclaimed office manager, who's little more than a Disneyland FASTPASS away from going all rotten upstairs. She's got a demon's gift--if you can call it that. Much more than her pretty little head was meant to carry. By way of Saint Francis Doyle, though we don't talk about him. Respect for the dead, shut up and pass the potatoes and all that, I suppose--but really guilt. And just when Lady Cordelia was about to give him a chance, a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance. She fears for those around her like a mother wolf--a mother wolf with a wicked-weird fashion sense of irony, I'll say, but nonetheless.
She's set herself up to protect Mr. Gunn, there, then forgot her promise like last week's shoes. No, no worries, Mate--she'll remember when she needs to, we always do, don't we? He thinks she's a joke, a pretty joke, but she confuses him. He doesn't know if she's coming or going, if he's in her good graces or not--if he likes her or pities her, or wants to lock her in a room--alone or with him. She's no Doris Day, sure, and he's no Rock Hudson, but there may be Pillow Talk after all.
Whew! All this gabbing! I need to wet my whistle. Luis! A libation! Huh? What's that? You've got to be going? So soon? We haven't even gotten to Marion, the Librarian--the hyphenated one. Limpy McBrit with cheese. Well, alright, we'll start there if I'm free next time. Y'all come back, ya hear?
So I sit here, and drink, and schmooze (or whatever they're calling it these days), and I pray, pray, pray to the Powers That Be, that someday--someday someone will stop into my club that can actually SING.
Disclaimers: Angel, Buffy, and its/their characters are not owned by me and I don't mean to infringe anyone by putting them to work here.
Feedback is the meat next to my writing potatoes. Don't leave me hungry.