Pleasure: A Dinner Conversation

I’ve been curious about the intimate dinners hosted around a huge wooden table with long benches in a nondescript storefront on Guerrero Street. 18 Reasons is an organization bringing local community together over art and food, and when an event with the topic of food, pleasure, and MFK Fisher came up, I happily solo’ed my way to the dinner. At these types of events, it’s critical to make a wise decision on seating. I gravitated to two women who looked to be having a grand time and settled in beside them.
Dinner was heaping plates of couscous-asparagus (gluten free and vegan, oh San Francisco!) along with goat cheese, bread, and unending bottles of white wine. Our two “moderators” were the author of a recent biography of MFK Fisher and a zen priest. After their short presentations, we were encouraged to eat and discuss the topic of pleasure with our dining companions.
Fortunately, my companions were not wedded to the idea of sole focus on this topic, and we covered ground from The Wire to owning the OED on microfiche with several mental canoe rides along the way. At some point I exclaimed, “Some women dream of their wedding day… I dream of having a ladder in my library!” I felt guilty about having my back to the gentleman on my right, preferring the company of my ladies, but every time I turned to politely engage him, he was droning on about pleasure in such an unpleasurable way that I quickly turned back.
I left the venue after a few delightful and intellectually stimulating hours, with contact details for new friends in hand.