a toast to life
Dressed up for dinner, strangers turned heads as we walked smilingly down the street.
When we arrived at the restaurant where I've worked all year, the waiters all greeted us and we were seated at a table along the wall. Soon a rainbow of martinis arrived, and the feast began.
As the drinks loosened our tongues, the food started to arrive. A complimentary bowl of sweet potato fries, from my chef working hard in the kitchen, arrived with our starters.
I shared a salmon ceviche with watercress salad with my Thai friend sitting beside me. We both love fish so much that we ordered the salmon to start and a whole seabass to share as our main course. When the seabass arrived, he plucked out its eyeball, popped it into his mouth and moaned.
Everyones food, from the coconut lemongrass mussels, to the tandoori chicken and prawns, was artfully plated and exotic. Once we had licked our plates clean, a gift came to our table.
The waiter delivered four desserts to share between us all. There were three mini chocolate almond tortes, each decorated with different berries, grilled peaches with cream and brittle, a waffle ice cream sandwhich, and, the best of the best, three small creme brulees in coffee, lavender and pistachio.
Dipping into the lavender creme brulee and feeling it melt into my taste buds, I was filled with pride for my chef, working hard in the kitchen at his newest creations.
As I sunk comfortably into my chair, my friend the waiter asked me if I could bartend. Knowing the bar and most of the drinks, I skipped over in my party dress and whipped up some martinis.
The night was a celebration of life. I got to sit and enjoy myself, help out a little, and be in the presence of a lot of people I love. I was happy to carry a tray of drinks over to my table, mixed myself, and see my friends having a good time.
As the last month of summer pours over us, I'm thankful for all the love and joy my life has taken on this past year. Sometimes all it takes is a good meal to remind you how good you have it.