It has been a very disappointing day, all the more disappointing because it appeared to hold such promise.
My office was out of bounds this afternoon and so I took the opportunity to plan a long lunch with a friend. We were to celebrate his birthday and the occasion offered the pleasing prospect of cold champagne, mild flirting and good gossip.
I was at the restaurant at the appointed hour–well, slightly early because I was so excited–and caught sight of myself in a mirror in the lobby. I was pleased with my new top, bought in Key West, and my shiny hair, cut and colored earlier this week. Liberated from work on a Thursday afternoon, the world was my oyster and, with luck, I would soon be enjoying a plate of oysters in delightful company.
One o’clock came and went and so did 1:15pm with still no sign of my lunch companion. He does not use a cell phone. There was no response from the phone or email in his office. At 1:30pm I decided to order something to eat. Oysters and champagne seemed like overkill so I asked for a worthy but dull Cobb salad and was further disgruntled when it arrived with all the ingredients lined up in straight rows on a shallow plate: too neat to eat.
I don’t like my food to be regimented and I want my salad served in a bowl. That way, I can destroy its order and mix it up myself. If one must eat salad at all, the only joy is to be had from hunting favorite components under the garden greens–the avocado and bacon for example–and in pretending you can’t see the escarole. Having your eggs, tomatoes, cheese and roughage all lined up takes all the fun out of it.
Seeing my glum expression, the waitress tried to cheer me up with the prospect of pudding. She rightly assumed that anyone raised in the British Isles will find comfort in an old style school dinner-inspired, super-stodgy dessert. She urged me towards the bread pudding. I love bread pudding. But of course it wasn’t actually bread pudding, it was treacle sponge. I HATE TREACLE SPONGE.
I paid my hefty bill and made my lonely way out into the cold and the dark and the rain. I went straight home to bed, badly out of sorts.
And my friend? No word. Perhaps someone I know really did fall under a bus…