Truth be told, I don’t remember much of what I ate at Bâtard. i remember enjoying the food, and I remember that there was a lobster tagliatelle and something with sea bass and brussels sprouts and something with foie gras. I remember a pear galette. I remember a server who kept missing our water glasses and leaving puddles of water on our table, puddles that made us pause and wonder, Did I do that?, even though our glasses were standing straight on the table, untouched from when we last drank from them.
I went to Bâtard with my company for our holiday dinner, and we were the youngest party in the restaurant. We were also the most dominantly female and the most dominantly non-white, and we were maybe the party that laughed the most, the hardest, most of us with very physical laughs that took over our whole bodies. You told me before that you love the way I laugh, the fact that I laugh at everything and have an irreverent sense of humor — my laugh was the first thing you noticed about me at that party a few months ago, the thing that made you think, I want to know that person. I want to be with that person.
I’ve been at this new company a week now, and it’s this dinner last night that made me think that I’d made the right decision. I love my coworkers — they’re funny and hard-working — and I tell you all about them as I wait for the goddamn MTA, trying to get from Tribeca to Prospect Lefferts Gardens when the B is down for the night and the 2/3 isn’t running between Brooklyn and Manhattan and I need to wait for the R to get to Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center then transfer there to the Q … except I figure I’ll just get on a Lyft there because it’s almost 11:30 when we leave the restaurant and long past midnight when I finally get into Brooklyn. You stay on the phone with me until I get home, texting with me as I wait on the platform at Whitehall, talking with me as I go home in my Lyft. You ask about my coworkers, and we give them code names as I sleepily describe them to you, and you say, I’m really glad, and I ask you why, and you say, I’m glad you like them.
Shouldn’t it be more the other way around? Like, shouldn’t you be glad that they like me?
People like you, you say matter-of-factly with a yawn. I knew they’d like you.
I didn’t! I thought they didn’t. We didn’t really talk much at all last week.
I know, but you were also kinda parachuted in over them, so they didn’t have the chance to know they liked you.
None of what you’re saying makes any sense.
I know. It’s one in the morning.
Shit, yeah. You should sleep. Go to sleep! Thanks for staying on the phone with me until I got home.
It’s what I’m here for.