go back and read the beginning part 1, part 2, & part 3...
Three drinks ago Davis and Viv met up with Hanson at the bar of the centro restaurant, a swanky rat pack inspired joint with black and white pictures of dead mobsters adorning the walls. It was quite obvious to Davis, three drinks ago, that Hanson has a thing for Viv. In fact, it was also quite obvious to Davis that Hanson not only has a thing for Viv, but that there was also some sort sordid history shared between the two.. Standing tall with his footballer’s physique, stories about smuggling Cuban cigars into Miami by high speed motor boats, bar room brawls in Bangkok with juiced up trannies, wrestling dwarfs for money in mexico city – Hanson played the part of the archetypical male that Viv would fall for – not your average Joe. It was through this insecure discomfort that Davis found himself on his third glass of Speyside single malt; and with hints of jealousy brooding his thoughts he orders his fourth.
Hanson knew what was going on with this granola looking tree hugger. After their acrimonious breakup, viv wanted something easy, something predictable, something she could control, and that’s why she’s dating this… this guy. From his mannerisms and small talk, Hans quickly singled him out as a phish listening pot smoking homemade bread-baking ex-hippie who probably made his own compost with all the fruit peels and biodegradable garbage in his house, or some shit like that. The fact was, and still remains that this guy has no idea what he’s gotten himself into with Viv, but Hanson knew only too well. His whirlwind romance with viv led them both onto a path of wild jaunts, strange brews, mind-altering drugs, and forged press passes. In the two years that they were a couple, they gate crashed some ridiculously insane parties; made wild animal love at sunset, atop the observation deck of a skyscraper; hauled lobster traps to see how tedious of a job it really was; get arrested a couple of times; and get a number of stitches to just name a few.. good times he thought.. real good times..
Not wanting to keep Davis feeling uncomfortable with Hanson’s brutish talk, Viv Interrupts his daydreaming with the tapping of her watch, and the three pay off their tab and set out on their way. Grabbing hold of Davis’ arm, Viv flashes him her pearly whites and he suddenly feels a little better.. no matter what, she was here with him, that guy may have the stories and scars to prove he’s her type, but she’s here with him, and that suited him just fine, for now.. Hans also notices the grins shared between the two and does little to hide the disappointed look on his face..
Three blocks down Regent Street, the trio makes a right down to southland square and end up at a nondescript door with a small sign reading “Savon Masculin”. The “gentlemen only” sign hung outside this unknown, but extremely well hidden establishment. The little door is opened by a sharply cut man in uniform who eyes the three up and down before leading them down a hallway to what they assume to be the dining room.
“Savon Masculin” has been an institutional gentlemen’s club in the city for almost two hundred years now. Originally begun as a card room and opium den for the wealthy French denizens of the city, the club had taken a number of transformations, including a private speakeasy during the prohibition, and a a hush-hush burlesque cabaret with dancers shipped in from Paris. Maintaining its highbrow membership tracing back generations, “Savon Masculin” remained one of the best-kept secrets of the city, until now. The name is supposed to have been decided over a game of cards in which the winner, an entrepreneur in the soap business, went with a name to continue his legacy. The secret exclusivity of this place was felt as the three followed their guide walking past the grand foyer, closed doors, historical paintings, and shifty eyes, although they had every right to have their meal in their establishment, they certainly weren’t welcome.
‘ello ow may I ‘elp you? Yes, my name is hanson adams, I have a reservation for the degustation. Ah yes monsieur adams, I see you are three peepole, mais, the reservation is for two, you are aware that tonight eez a set dinner for a specific number of guests. You cannot expect the chef to accommodate you for not fully understanding ze strict regulations of tonight’s meal.. I ‘ave ‘alf a nerve to send you ‘ome.. I completely understand, but they will be eating, I will just seat myself with them at the table, if that’s all right with you and this friend of mine printed on this piece of paper the rest of the population accepts as legal tender. Well I suppose the torture of watching your meal eaten by someone else should compensate.. I will arrange it. Thank you for accommodating me..
Sliding up to Hanson, Viv starts questioning his motives and what his intentions really were. She couldn’t help but feel this was a deranged attempt by Hans to get into her good graces. Hans retorted with the most innocent of excuses offering his seat so the two could enjoy the meal, after all, she was more excited about tonight’s dinner than anyone of the three.. Davis, feeling awkward about being a spectator in a squabble that extended before his arrival into viv’s life, kept his mouth shut waiting in the wings. His suggestion to sit this meal out, was met with a firm no from Hanson, who insisted that his intentions remain as white as the linens on their table. In fact this would give him the opportunity to get to know Davis a little better and make up for the messy breakup and the drama that followed.
The dining room is not lavish for lavish sake, but still more than what you would normally consider rich in its settings with remaining functional and organized. The staff, standing around ready to pounce on the needs of any of the diners are stressed in their sharp uniformed Japanese designed outfits; they methodically pull chairs out, place napkins and bring forth the water.. Seating the trio at their table, the waiters orderly scurry off through their assigned walkways and flit and flutter in and out of the kitchen.. One of the well dressed crew approaches the table decanting some glasses of what looks to be a very promising new world vintage from a place you’d never consider visiting.. Another well-dressed attendant arrives to the table and begins to elucidate the experience soon to begin.
Good evening. My name is not necessary; neither are the names of the other servers. In fact we are all insignificant lemmings put in this room for one purpose, to be at your service. All you need to do is think about lifting an eyebrow and we will telepathically know you need something. In fact we will probably know, telepathically, what it is that you need before you actually voice it out. Please feel free to be as demanding and unnoticing of our effort as you please, after all, this is your experience, not ours. Tonight’s tasting will come in the form of 6 courses in no particular order except that of what the chef chooses and consists of a cheese, vegetable, fish, pheasant, essence and dessert. I hope you truly enjoy your meal and relish this opportunity to eat from the crafted hand of Chef Antoine, because chances are, you will never sample his fare again.
And with that, the enthusiasm from the diners fills the air as the other servers finish from their monologues and scurry off to the kitchen at the sound of a barrage of little bells ringing.. calling the waitstaff back to the kitchen 60 little bells resonate loudly enough through the room to announce the beginning of the first course...
The mini bells all ringing in a disorganized unison give off a parochial feel to the moment, too bad for Davis, he didn’t feel very spiritual about the whole experience to begin with. Everything happening with Viv was just turning into the sweetest love story of modern times, yet, the carnivorous exploits he had been on were enough to butcher his soul and force him down a path of bludgeoned character. One after the other, different types of meat, the taste, the idea of consuming a living being, just going up against everything he had ever been taught and known. The shame, the remorse, such strong emotions so quickly substituted with the joy and satisfaction with the presence of the beautiful companion he found in this amazing woman. Life, love, happiness, all have been enjoyed and felt on levels Davis never even knew existed.. Although too early to tell, Davis did know that this was a person he could actually see himself with, a lover he could never tire of, this relationship was quickly picking the steamy moniker of “it” – a tag that seemed to echo inside viv… With thoughts of his beloved shooing away his vegetarian conscious, she nudges Davis under the table and gives him an “I’m so excited!!” look and helps ready him for his next brush with his now shaky principles.