Thursday, April 19, 2007

Life imitating art

My work for the day has been reading Sartre's La Nausee. I read Nausea for a philosophy class in college, so this is sort of a reread. Anyway, time had come for a break from the existential queasiness, so I met Jo for dinner at a French cafe in Cobble Hill which shall remain nameless on the off-chance that it fixes the problem. What problem? We'd just ordered, had water and bread, were waiting for our food, listening to the French people next to us chatting... when all of a sudden one of the most giant roaches I've ever seen, wings spread as if about to soar, zipped across the wall our table was up against. I was not so happy, and inadvertently pushed the French woman next to me several feet over while attempting to leap out of my seat. Someone else at a table near by said there were in fact two. I announced that we were leaving. The French man seemed amused, the French woman seemed annoyed, and an elderly American man announced that he, too, wanted to leave. Our waitress told us to speak to the manager, who stepped outside with us, had me explain exactly what (I included the requisite hand display of the size of the creature in question) and where (table by the wall). He asked us what we planned to do about it. All my usual meekness in situations of confrontation disappeared. I explained that we were leaving, that it was disgusting. He wasn't thrilled, but accepted that this was the inevitable fallout from what we'd witnessed.

Sartre would have found this story and its predictable ending too cheesily bourgeois (fromagement bourgeois?). But that's the way it went.

No comments: