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Today I'm 23

Page history last edited by jlgravin 12 years, 4 months ago

Today I'm 23


I looked around at the crowd as it flowed in from all sides of the theater. I looked for people like me, and didn't find many. I felt like I was one of the youngest people there, and I think I was, aside from my younger sister. We chatted amongst each other, waiting for the show to start. Finally, the announcer came over the loudspeaker, an unpleasing voice for some unknown reason. Perhaps because it disrupted my anticipation, and made me nervous. I peered down to the stage from our faraway seats and joined in the applause for the guest we had all come to see. Then, he was there in front of me, in real life, and I barely believed I was actually there, and he was actually there, and we were there in the same place. I felt that rush you get when you drive too fast over a tiny hill. It drops your stomach for a second, and it always makes me want to make a U-turn and do it again (except I never do, because I've got some place to be, and clearly I'm already speeding).


He promised not to make any jokes about Rachael Ray and proceeded to explain his immeasurable contempt with a creature named Sandra Lee. He told stories of his travels, about the bests and worsts, about other shows on the Food Network that he loves and hates (the crowd responds accordingly), about his network, the Travel Channel, now owned by the Food Network, and reassured us that we're safer eating Vietnamese street food (even if we don't know what it is) than we are eating the breakfast buffet at the Hilton.


He told us that aside from the family trips to France when he was a young kid, he hadn't experienced any other countries or cultures for himself until he was 44 years old. He said until then he lived his life, day in and day out, in the back of a kitchen, with other greasy, tattooed cooks, looking out at a sea of silhouettes in the dining room, talking about "dicks, dicks, dicks."


At the end, he opened the floor up for questions. Several hands from insisting older adults shot up, while some even stood up, and shouted, to get his attention. They all seemed worthy and anxious of having a conversation with the Anthony Bourdain. After fighting for his turn, one man (probably in his 50's) stood up to say how inspired he was by Anthony, and that he had finally begun to pursue his passion for culture and cuisine by traveling across Asia, and planning a trip to Italy.


How could you wait until you're 50 to start doing something if you've always wanted to do it? And then I thought of all the things that could keep you from doing something that you love, you know, circumstances beyond your control, obligations, life.


And then I thought about how glad I was for it to be my 23rd birthday. Just 23. And I've been places, and I'm going places. And I'll never wait til I'm 50.


Comments (3)

kms said

at 9:37 pm on Nov 23, 2010

You go girl!!!

shawn dudley said

at 9:37 pm on Nov 23, 2010

I'm really glad that you won't have to wait until your're 50. No one should have to. I'm even happier that a guy like Anthony Bourdain had the chance to do when he was 50.

kms said

at 11:58 pm on Nov 25, 2010

Yes! Start early, but never give up!

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