the lost man chronicles
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the lush y la luna

I love being drunk when negotiating corporate contracts.

Only slightly tipsy of course, but inebriated nonetheless. It just makes all the sales pitching and doctoring of numbers and all that other sticky-stuff that one must endure to play and prosper in the game, so much more palatable.

This afternoon I had an impromptu meeting with a restaurant that is vying for our holiday party business once again. And so when I walked in, I was asked to wait at the bar while they called Luna to come down from the office.

I decided to stand and wait away from the bar, believing that I would be offered a drink when we sat down.

Although we had spoken several times on the phone, I had never met her and was curious to see if my fantasized perception of what she looked like matched the beauty of her name (yes, I am a man and men are apt to judge more their eyes then they are inclined to asses with their little minds…).

Well, fortunately, for me, she was as pretty as her predecessor. And by our conversations, I already knew she was astute, so any prejudices on my part were already taken care of.

Right before we sat down, I strategically asked for a glass of water. She said sure of course, and also asked “Would you like a cocktail as well?” I feigned some hesitation, allowing her a moment to suggest some fancy sweet concoction, but countered with what I had set my heart the minute I stepped in the door—a simple pint of ale.

As I sipped and gulped and became progressively happier, we mulled over a counter-proposal to their competition and negotiated terms that would meet both our financial restraints and our ultimate make the most people feel-good objectives.

Eventually, we pretty much bottomed-out all the possible scenarios and agreed to reconvene tomorrow morning after she sent me an amended proposal.

Then she hit me, straight in the middle of my Achilles heel.

“So, would you like a little dinner to take back with you to the office?,” she wily asked as she smiled and looked straight into my bloodshot and dilated eyes, knowing all too well what she was doing to get me from here to there.

I staggered with my response, if only because of my exhausted and softened state. But then, calculating what it costs them and what the base minimum amount is that is required that wee-monkeys declare and put into the corporate gift log, I quickly figured I was safe and smiled a gracious acceptance.

And to be exceedingly honest—she was trying to make a sale and I was very hungry. I had not eaten since I chomped on a bran muffin-top eight hours earlier, so I was very vulnerable when it came to being tantalized (and manipulated) with the offering of (free) food.

She asked what I would like, and I asked, “What would you suggest?” When she said, “Let me bring you a menu,” I patted her hand lightly to indicate that she should not bother to get up and asked her more poignantly, “Well, what are some of your favorite things here?” “Baby back ribs, corn bread, red pepper salad with feta cheese and baked beans.” “Well, that’s exactly what I would like then,” for it all truly sounded quite savory and in my wary and lush state I was in no condition to read small print or choose anything.

“How about dessert?”

“Oh, no thank you, no dessert for me.”

“Are you on a diet or something?”

Upon recomposing myself after the shock of hearing this from a woman whose cheekbones jetted out at me, I tritely responded with a chuckle, ”No, I simply like to eat well.”

Not that butter-laden cornbread, savory meat on the bone and pork and beans in a thick and spicy BBQ sauce were actually any better for me…

Non ut edam vivo, sed vivam edo
~ Quintilianus, Instituitio oratoria

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