Prompt: All of the people you had lunch with are going sailing (with you) when disaster strikes! Describe– what happens? how did you get there in the first place? where are you? WHO DIES? (Oh please. SOMEBODY has to die– is it YOU?)
Excerpt from Susan’s writing: I am going to lunch with Mario Vargas Llosa, Virginia Woolf, and my grandmother (yes, I’m cheating a little– but Woolf was a character in The Hours). We are going to la Madeleine, which is one of my favorite chain restaurants. It is fast-ish food disguised as authentic French cooking. Since the only la Madeleine I have ever visited is in Houston, that’s where we are. It’s summertime. Everyone is hot and sticky, though at least my grandmother looks impeccable. She is enjoying some halfhearted gallantry at Llosa’s expense, but otherwise everyone is very disdainful– of the food, of the place, of each other. Llosa just wants to punch something. Woolf looks half asleep and very unhappy. My grandmother is making the best of it by telling family stories and French language anecdotes, and occasionally touching up her feathering magenta lipstick. She gets halfhearted smiles from Woolf, and ribald stories in response from Llosa. Later she will describe to me how to better choose a group of friends to go out with. She approves of my water with lemon. Woolf is too disinterested to care, would rather be anywhere else, is slightly unnerved in company. Llosa needs a drink.