Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Night At (The Bottom Of The Stairs Of) The Opera

On Friday Night, I Attended The Opera, Rolled Down The Grand Staircase of The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Nearly Died.

Now, I know what You Are All Thinking, but, I Swear, I Was Not Pushed. It was An Accident and will probably go down as My Most Embarrassing Moment Ever Ever Ever, aside from That Time When My Eighth Grade Crush Accidentally Walked In On Me In The Bathroom While I Was Changing A Tampon. And That Other Time when I Unknowingly Started My Period In The Midst Of Having Sex With My Then-Boyfriend, Completely Destroying His Quite Comfortable 300 Percale Designer Sheets and Down Duvet Cover. And While This Latest Embarrassing Moment did produce Blood, it gratefully did not involve My Unfortunately- Timed Menstrual Cycle. Rather, it involved My First Opera Going Experience.

Actually, it may surprise those that know me well to learn that I Had Never Been To The Opera Before! A former long-time student of the French Horn, I love All Things Classical. I used to have A Subscription To The Philharmonic, back in New York. I collect Classical Ballet Music on vinyl. You can find me at The Hollywood Bowl nearly Every Classical Thursday during the summer, sitting by myself in the benches, enjoying the concert. I am one of those people who can listen to K Mozart, the local classical station here in Los Angeles, and complain that They Play The Same Stupid Selections Over And Over Again and Know What I Am Talking About, because They Totally Do. So, you would think that I Would Have Been To The Opera Before. But, I Hadn't and Neither Had Good Friend Who Always Takes Me Out When A Boy Doesn't Call. And so, we decided to Finally Attend!

The Opera we were to see was The Marriage of Figaro. A few weeks earlier, Good Friend was, well, A Good Friend and Graciously Picked Up Our Tickets. "We are in The Balcony!" she warned. And by "We are in The Balcony", what she really meant to say was, “Our Seats are Way Up In Outer Space, where Sightlines, Legroom, and Oxygen Are Severely Limited!” The Seating Arrangement was only Slightly Less Comfortable than Sitting In Coach On A Very Crowded, Overbooked, Holiday-Time Airplane With Unusually Low Ceilings. And maybe we were going to Crash, so they Turned Off All The Lights As A Safety Precaution. And made you Lean Forward. And, instead of Having To Sit Next To A Crying Baby, we were Being Forced To Endure A Performing Troupe of Adults, Singing in Italian. Minus the Complementary Beverage Service. Knees scrunched in, heads bowed, somewhere, there was An Opera Being Performed. But, it was, Way Way Way Way Way Down Below. And I was Not Nearly Drunk Enough. Which reminds me -- Thank Goodness for These Three Things (In No Particular Order): Champagne, Champagne, and Champagne! Oh -- and Intermission. Thank Goodness for Intermission.

After the Opera was Finis!, which is Fancy Opera Talk for Over!, Our Seats were So High Up, the ushers suggested that We Utilize An Elevator to reach the Ground Level. I refused, as I always take The Stairs when I can, and suggested to Good Friend that One Should Walk The Grand Staircase When One Attends The Opera. Naturally, Good Friend thought that perhaps One Should Take The Elevator When One Is Wearing Uncomfortably High Heels and Has Had Three Glasses Of Champagne. But, I argued that One Should Only Do That If One Did Not Know In Advance That One Would Be Sitting For Nearly Three And A Half Hours With One's Head Touching The Ceiling. And so, The Stairs it was!

I would like to Preface This Portion Of My Story by informing everyone that I Usually Don't Have Any Trouble Walking Down Stairs. I grew up in A Two Story House and Walked Down Stairs all the time, Without Incident! Not only that, but in New York, I nearly Only Lived In Walk-ups! Furthermore, I often Engage In Step Aerobics Classes! So, The Stair Thing should have been A Walk In The Park, so to speak. Unfortunately for me, This Park was Full Of Really Mean Stair Monsters Who Wanted To Super Embarrass Me because when I approached The Final Series Of Steps of The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s Grand Staircase --in The Very Crowded, After-Opera Lobby, mind you -- something “Happened” and I Tripped and then -- this part I Recall Clearly -- I Stumbled And Fell and Proceeded to Roll Down The Remainder Of The Stairs. Kerplunk. Kerplunk. Kerplunk Kerplunk.


Eh --


That's right. I tumbled right down that Staircase, landing somehow a few yards away from the foot of the first step. The Entire Thing seemed to occur in Slow Motion. Instantly, there was A Crowd Of Security standing around me.

"Are you Okay?" said A Guard.

"Is she Bleeding?" asked Another.

"Let's get An Ambulance!" said a third into his walky-talky.

"No, no, no!" I said quickly. "I am Totally Okay!" I suddenly couldn't stop laughing. "I am Fine, I Swear! I am just, Ow, hah, I am just, Wow. I am Really Embarrassed." At this point, I was still sprawled out on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Lobby Carpet, my Simple Ella Moss Slip Dress, Disheveled, My Marc Jacobs Adorned Legs in A Twisted Mess. I started to lift myself up and hoped no one had noticed My Knee was Badly Bruised. And that My Elbow was Scraped and Bloody. And that I Wasn't Wearing Any Underwear. Crap. "How did that Happen?" I demanded, quickly pulling my dress down. "I mean, is there Some Weird Thing with The Stairs over there? Does This Happen A Lot?”

"No." said A Guard. "This Rarely Happens."

"Oh," I replied.

"Brava," Good Friend muttered, helping me up.

Later, as I Hobbled towards the car, Good Friend, was, well, A Good Friend and informed me that I Had Nothing To Be Embarrassed About because She Once Fell Into A Fountain on A Field Trip In Elementary School. But, I don't know. Falling Into A Fountain On A Field Trip In Elementary School couldn't have been That Bad. All Good Friend got was A Little Wet When She Was Seven. I am Thirty-Six and I had to endure An After-Opera Crowd, Staring Aghast, as I Slowly Tumbled Down A Grand Stairwell, ala Scarlet O'Hara, sans Underwear. This was Truly Mortifying!

“Next time, We Take The Elevator,” commented Good Friend as she helped me limp into place in the passenger seat of her car.

And by “Next Time We Take The Elevator,” what I really hoped she meant was, “Next Time, We get Seats In The Orchestra.”


1 comment:

Sleepyhead said...

That's quite an adventure. I hope your appendages and pride are mending well. I once fell into the quaint windmill pond at a miniature golf course (which is both deeper than you might imagine and fuller of jagged rocks for the rending of the flesh and the tearing of the jeans), while demonstrating for a group of friends how my pal Darren had fallen into the quaint windmill pond mere moments before. ("You guys totally missed it, Darren went face first into the water, it was crazy. I think he tripped on this rock, oh shi..." SPLASH.)