“In the longer term there is no such thing, as dishonest happiness” I suggest to some gentleman caught with me in a lift. “I’m sure your right” he says uneasily aware of the worn out shirt and slightly cultured voice. I start to grin , losing my grip, and finally cannot resist the impulse. I hear my voice saying; one gentleman to another, in a tone which still resonates with some authority “Do you have the price of a large scotch”. Rattled now, and longing for the doors to open, he scrabbles in his pocket for some change but only finds a note of decent value. Caught in the headlights of naked sensibility he pushes the note towards my unclean hand then vanishes through doors which finally release him.
I have a smile , normally torn from me in brief unguarded moments, and this is one. That I, a clawless vulture, should have stumbled on some prey in this unlikely setting. Normally I loiter somewhere outside current events. Read up on life through newspapers. Shake my head and talk to passing trees about indifference. Talk about the history of vanity: cultural or personal, or just me. I’m not that sure. Someone blown along the street by random impulse :a voyeur at the doors of chance . “Would sir enjoy a drink before the meal”, suggests the waiter in some restaurant,” “Yes, I might, and do you have a roof as well”. My reply is unusually sure-footed.
I smile again, and celebrate the power granted me by embarrassment through perception. This though, is not the time to dwell on my lack of manners. That was some time ago, and in another place. I wonder once again, how I, who crashed through life as if an untamed bear, should pause in mid stride now to ponder on a point of etiquette. And yet I wonder, once again about my level of sanity.