Back in 2000-2001, while I finished up the royal bachelors degree in new jersey, I worked numerous odd jobs, including being a waiter for one of NYC’s premier catering companies. How do I know it was premier? Let’s just say each job involved a museum, a rock star, and the occasional brush with Hillary “Rottenham” (to quote madge) Clinton. But all the fancy stuff wasn’t the best part of the job. And no, it wasn’t even all the free food Id stuff into my backpack. Instead, it was the other workers – the United Nations of Catering, I used to call it.
I remember on any given night speaking all my languages with people old and young from every continent of the world. And among those people, there was one gentlemen who became a fast friend – Mr. David, Trinidad and Brooklyn’s beloved son. Like many of us, David had 1,000 ideas and plans in his head, and waitering was just to make quick cash and secretly, I think he was there to meet all the interesting people.
Among his adventures, I remember getting a phonecall where he told me he was on his way to Nicaragua: “The coffee prices have hit rock bottom” he spoke in a concerned tone, “I’m going to Managua and bringing food and toys for children.” I remember picturing a sort-of Caribbean Santa Claus. I also remember how much I admired his drive. While I sat around studying and yapping about the world and what is wrong. Mr. David would get one of those amazing courier flights and go to the areas in crises, whenever he had the money.
Eventually we both left the catering gig. But he never failed to invite me and my girlfriend at the time – Miss America (as he called her), to come to a very international dinner at his place in the people’s republic of brooklyn. Soon thereafter, I moved to portugal, and sure enough the man came to visit me and wandered across the country with a Nicaraguan friend.
Whenever I’m in the US, I still call him. We don’t always see each other, but we play the catch up game, and always know what one-another is up to. You can bet he still travels to interesting places, still doing what he feels driven to do, to improve the world. Talk about direct action — that’s my friend.
And so tonight I sent an email. And sure enough, soon after, I received a phonecall. Looks like its Port-of-Spain, New Delhi, and then Amsterdam, on his itenerary for this year. Amazing how paths can cross throughout life.