Chilled champagne awaited them,
a platoon of attentive captains and waiters
standing by to assure
that their glasses never emptied.
An unctuous manager extended
personal felicitations of the house
and a sumptuous, gout-inviting succession of
mouth-watering comestibles proceeded to
rain down on them like the
fortuitous bounty of a culinary god.
Scarcely having breath to speak
between bites and gulps,
throwing himself into the
consumption of the feast with
The champagne carbonated
the shadow of doom that had
dogged their last few days and
effervesced it to oblivion.
Around them the room
seemed impossibly lithe
and gay and
filled with light,
women glowing with Athenian glamour, the
men fortified by some Herculean ideal.
What a place!
What a city,
what a dynamic race of people!
It wasn’t until an ambrosian flamb? of
cherries, meringue, and vanilla ice cream
had landed in front of them that
the weightless balloon of his
begin to sink back into the
range of conscious awareness.
The dinner was not yet at an end
and already felt like a dream, for
he knew that the moment their discussion,
which up to the supernatural dessert
had been as carefree as
a clergyman’s Monday,
turned back to the life
that awaited them
outside of this cloistered Olympus,
the bill would
become due in more ways than one.
Brian Hooper received his B.A. in American Studies from Washington &
Lee University and his M.Phil. in Literary Studies from the Chinese
University of Hong Kong. He is a recent graduate of the Harvard Law
School, where he was Executive Editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of
the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. He is currently an
Associate at a Washington, DC-based law firm.