Strange ritual, this gorging on holidays. Course after course – for we have paid dearly for them – slides down the hatch in habitual response to colors, textures, tastes. The floor is flagstone; the chairs in this grand old hotel are plastic, of all things; service is efficiently and politely provided by those I’m sure would rather be home celebrating with loved ones.
I’m a victim of my own awareness. These feasts always leave me uneasy and confused about motives and directions. While I am grateful for good companionship and superb views, I cannot will blinders. This is not a routine I was born to in this life, nor is it one I necessarily embrace. Classes, divisions, exclusions. Employees who are not allowed to pack unserved leftovers home to their families. People paid to smile and offer mandated authenticity, though I couldn’t blame the bulk of them for resenting what they, themselves may never experience, save vicariously.
Brunch ends at 2:30 sharp. Having spent years in the restaurant business, I note nuances in exchanged looks between the help; urgency in dark eyes. Carts are wheeled high with equipment designed to please finicky guests; plates are stacked and filed; food is discretely portaged away to be dispensed of in whatever manner the establishment sees fit. An elder friend among us relates that it is donated as pig slop, but I wonder about guilt, selective hearing and the wasteful truth.
We live amidst bounty juxtaposed against the backdrop of phenomenal waste; mountains of refuse alongside pristine beaches and bikini-clad tourists intent upon iPhones, flocking not to the spectacular vistas of rainbows and whales breaching in the background, but to the warmth of sun and impeccable service.