One should consume a shot of vodka on the way in to calm oneself before entering the lions den of luncheon locations. Ladies who lunch, gentlemen who drink, academics who put their glasses on the ends of their noses and postulate about all and not, the flotsam and jetsam of their inner knowledge, which may or not be real, or perhaps imagined.
With sufficient lubrication a la Grey Goose, there is much to be touted about a place with nary a name. And in the wrong hands, it could, with its modern, cold, almost Gothic decor, end up filled with the wrong sort but it wasn’t. Or at least it wasn’t on the day that I went. The service was helpful and not intrusive, with a plethora of useful advice offered as to menu favourites and best sides to compliment the choice.
So you sit down with a book and pretend that you are reading, turning the pages every few minutes and all the while extending your ears a little to the conversations taking place nearby, to your right and left.
The Chanel enveloped ladies, both in clothing and in scent, to my left were quietly musing about friends they knew who had ‘invested badly’. And in particular, one ‘friend’ who could not join them at this luncheon because of a bad decision she had made in her spending habits of late, on what I never found out, but I did learn that she regretted it profoundly, with many tears shed over the matter.
To my right? I heard a young woman proclaim proudly that she never read any newspapers or watched any news on television. I didn’t catch
the end of the statement, and I hope against all hope that there was a rationale given for wanting to live in perpetual ignorance about the world around her. I wondered: do you know why people say things like that? Is it a proclivity of the uber-wealthy lunching crowd? Are they wanting to appear stupid for the sake of it and their dining companions? What is the value in a life lead with loud proclamations like that?
Someone famous came in to lunch just as I was finishing. His arrival was heralded by a security person coming in and scanning the crowd, presumably looking for an assassin waiting for his opportunity, a black tinted car idling out front. The famous patron looked familiar but then older men in impeccable suits tend to take on the hue of a gaggle of geese to me: I can’t tell one from another. Politician or captain of industry, I really don’t know, but the fluttering of managers and wait staff suggested that he was of some import. He was seated grandly in the middle of the room and announced at full volume that he didn’t want to make a fuss. In the middle of the room. Where everyone could see him and his dining companion, another suit of unknown origin. But he didn’t want to make a fuss.
We writers all need to be Hemingway once in a while and spend some money to sit in such a place as this and ingest a Grey Goose martini so that the words flow and we finally know what we want to say and thank goodness for the albeit clumsy keypad on an iPhone which provided the ability hold on to the thread of the words before they floated down my gullet with the dregs of my martini.