Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Wife Just Said, "Why Didn't You Take Notes?"

Valentine's Day din-din at Mezze on Lakeshore in Oakland. One of their special deals with a so-called "wine flight," which is three 3-ounce pops with the three main courses -- but not with dessert because (I suppose) there's a prejudice against ports et al.

What a fine meal: five out of six with our only doubt the duck breast, which was just a little undercooked. Our waitperson -- personable; full-figured -- was running as fast as she could but the wines did not arrive at positively the time of maximum efficiency in relation to the the courses themselves.

I could, as the young people so imprecisely say, have cared less.

There was hand-holding and such, and at one point I said that Old Long Love is like living in a time warp. It's all there at once and forever, the good and the bad, and if there's more good than bad the math works and joy ensues.

Anyway, we had a nice long good time, though after four cups of coffee when we were offered the check, we said "What about the dessert?"

Actually, after asking for dessert, I said, "We are in love but not that much in love." My wife said a dozen funnier things, but this is all I can remember.

Cue "Dover Beach":

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night.

P.S. I tipped 20 percent-plus, as happiness will. Matthew Arnold would have tipped so.

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