A few years ago, I smelled Prada Amber being worn to great effect by an elegant woman at a TV industry party. The party was a "class reunion" of the first TV show I ever hosted in the UK, the notorious pop culture crash called The Word. The Word was live on Channel 4 every Friday night at at 11 o'clock, an hour of the biggest stars, the hippest bands, and the most shocking, tabloid-freak-show studio events.
The elegant woman was Emma, the producer who'd once coaxed a creamy voiceover performance out of me for a Sean Penn interview piece by insisting that he'd been totally flirting with me in the segment. (I'd been under the impression that I'd intensely irritated him with my impudent questions, but maybe Sean's just a kiss-or-kill kind of guy.)
|"Kiss or kill? Is that a threat or a promise?"|
The Word reunion was a 20th anniversary celebration, and for the first hour or so, everyone was giddy with nostalgic joy at seeing their old friends and colleagues. This so-stupid-it-was-smart show was the first TV job for just about everyone who'd worked on it, and we were all getting misty.
"Remember when 'drunken' Oliver Reed freaked everyone out by acting like he wasn't drunk?"
"Remember when the singer from L7 pulled her pants down?"
"Remember when Kurt Cobain intoned 'Courtney Love...is the best fuck in in the world!' right before Nirvana launched into 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'?"
The stuff of legend, all of it.
"Awwww...everybody's here!" cried out Tammy, another producer. "Let's do a show right now!"
But something unexpected happened after the champagne began to wear off. An inescapable melancholy floated in, and became increasingly oppressive. Our gleeful fizz went flat, replaced by a niggling sense of loss -- loss of our youthful hopes, youthful recklessness, youthful youth. Without anyone acknowledging the cloud that had descended, the party emptied out.
But when I hugged elegant Emma goodbye, Prada Amber still smelled good. That, at least, was reassuring.