Dearest friend you didn’t finish your food. A greater insult does not exist to food and to your friend who was sitting across the table from you, spoon in hand, regretting all his words and thoughts and actions. I watched your aglio olio sit untouched, your laugh at my pronunciation of its name hanging limply in the air. The whole restaurant was shocked and confused, their jaws hanging limply in their faces. It was…there was a lot of limp stuff. I’m sorry I’m not good with words all the time. I can’t wax poetic about this when I’m so emotional and full of regret.
I am sorry for asking for regular water. There is a little dance that you and I both know that takes place at dinner. When the server comes and hands out the menus he then asks you “will that be bottled water or regular water?” and then we both titter loudly as we hold on to our pearls. We stand on our chairs and look down at the sweaty waiter, and to him we say “bottled, you fool!” We usually end this with some variation of either an invitation to a duel to the death or some slapping with white gloves. You know this and I know this and this is a large part of the reason we go to dinner. We are exquisite beings of courage and light and hunger.
However yesterday, I must admit that I was preoccupied. I don’t know if you could tell by the way that I had completely forgotten to wear my customary dinner pearls or even my secret freemason walking cane. But really the greatest transgression was committed by that fool of a waiter who did not ask us for water before our food came. As we both sat, I saw the waiter approach out of the corner of my eye. I trembled in anticipation. You did not see him approach and to be honest I was enthralled by your lovely tale of the blood fight you caused between your servants. So enthralled, in fact that I before I could react the waiter had placed the menus before us and left.
You still did not seem to notice and continued on with your story. I decided to let this pass and move on. Somewhere between the delightful tale of your weekly servant blood fight, we gave our orders and forgot completely about the water. An aglio olio for you and a raw oyster for me, our usual. Did you know that I couldn’t believe that Emmanuel managed to draw blood from Serena first? Who would have thought that Serena being the champion of the past seven months, so adept at hiding blades and making surreptitious cuts could be defeated by the newly hired scrawny Emmanuel. I suppose I was right when I told you that in his eyes I saw insurmountable struggling and hardship, a familiarity with the cause of the knife and the kind of life that it brings with it. If you had stared into his eyes perhaps you would have realised that he did not know a blood fight from a death fight and that is why you now have the corpse of Serena on your hands to dispose of. I wouldn’t grudge Emmanuel though, but do put him through a preliminary training course that reflects the rules of blood fights and how they differ from death, primarily stressing on the fight that we tend to frown upon frequent acts of murder. Of course a few are excusable but not too many, let’s be realistic.
It was somewhere between the improvements of the blood fight model we were discussing that they waiter appeared. You made an excellent point about the inclusion of thick padding and not simply a naked oily fight like we had been doing for the past month. Although I disagreed with you on the point of psychological warfare. I believe that blood fights among one’s servants need to be upheld to the spirit of amateur competition to try to advance the sport of blood fighting, like the Olympics. When the servant, sorry the waiter (he is a servant, but not ours so society will not permit me to call him by his actual station) in the middle of the passionate diatribe I was giving against professional blood fighting asked if we wanted regular or bottled water I simply dismissed him with a wave of the hand. I wasn’t even listening to what he was saying or looking in his direction but I was only interested in him leaving us to our discussion. It was only when I saw the expression on your face change and heard the clatter of cutlery falling all across the restaurant, did I realise what I had said, but by then it was already too late. I had asked for regular water.
I tried to splutter an apology to counter the tears forming in your eyes, but it was to no avail and you left in a huff. That is why I write you this letter to extend the heartiest of apologies. Unlike the things I usually say sorry for, this is not an ideological difference, but rather a simple mistake, an oversight, a misunderstanding. I hope you will understand.
As for the waiter, I blame him completely for his actions. After you left, I had a talk with the restaurant staff and for forty Guineas, purchased this man. I call him Bottled. A simple name to remind him of why he is my slave. And that brings me to the exciting announcement I have for you. Tomorrow shall be my first weekly servant blood fight! I think, in honour of that occasion, I would not have my own servants fight. Rather to inaugurate the event I wondered whether you could bring Emmanuel to pit him against my man Bottled? My only worry is that it will be too easy a fight, but the world will be what the world will be. I informed Bottled of the fight to take place and he whimpered about not wanting to have a blood fight. I asked if he wanted a ‘regular’ fight. Oh how we laughed!
Well I laughed, he shrank in horror. But still, it is hilarious!