if I stay here for another couple of hours the curtains will open themselves and small angels singing gretchen peters albums backwards will flutter among us tipping tofu over the duvet and delicately turning the pages on the ski magazine I will of course never read while cate blanchett wafts through the walls with USA today on a stick and all you can eat in the poolside grille. after that I’ll have a shower and stuff. ok, I’ll do that now. hey, where’s my angels? I’m paying a hundred bucks for this. well, no, of course I’m not paying personally, but like Neal says, we’re all paying really.
4 hours later and I’ve spent a good 10 minutes in the rental chevy cobalt LT which stands for Like Treacle just waiting for the rain to stop because I’ve not transported a nice wool jacket all this way just to end up smelling like a dead sheep by the time I get to the lobby so it’ll have to stop before I move from here. right. good. I’m at MPK 14 because I can count that far but I’m meeting at the iwork cafe in 10 minutes so let’s take bets on how many times I walk around the entire campus looking for it before I actually go into a lobby and tell somebody I’m english and so they take pity on me and ask me if I know the queen and how many oscars I’ve got before they tell me I’ve just walked past the place I’m supposed to be in and they were watching me all the time because I look like I have no idea what I’m doing which I don’t even though I’ve been here about 20 times before but still apparently can not orient myself after I walk through a security door and a small campus becomes a mysterious labyrinth full of strange mortal creatures with huge cups of water with permanent straws and the only way I can escape it is to find the keeper of the key which will obviously mean at least a couple of hours in a badly lit warehouse crawling through pipes and stuff until I meet a talking marsupial who dictates the meaning of life to a peasant dressed like oliver twist and upon seeing me scarpers into the night talking the key with him which isn’t a key at all, you see, it’s just an alegory. the key is me. I am the meaning of life and if I just stop and discover myself I’ll also find Neal in the cafe. oh, there he is.
as I’d had the ‘healthy option’ breakfast which is pretty much just 3 gallons of coffee with cream, a strawberry, and then 17 croissants with an extra bagel, I was only interested in a ‘light option’ for lunch, which I figured might be something like chicken pasta, but with 3 pounds of cheese and a gallon of cream and a bit of brocolli, so having been shown the salad bar I took a plastic bowl and started shovelling leaves like it was the middle of october. ooh, a bit of that green stuff. and another. ooh that looks nice. this bowl isn’t bit enough. hmm, what are those?
it’s at this point that jonathan appears from some secret trap door or something and he’s right in front of me with his own plastic bowl, tongs at the ready. I mean, he’s pushed in, which is a huge affront to an uptight middle class englishman, but I’ll let him off. as he goes around with the tongs, he’s talking to somebody who’s kind of over my shoulder somewhere about really important stuff, but all I’m really interested in is seeing what pulses he scoops up and whether balsamic caesar is the dressing du jour. I want my own jonathan schwartz salad and so I’m going around the salad bar picking off everything he’s picked off and trying not to look like a weird food stalker but failing but he’s so fast he’s already in a meeting in santa clara by the time I’ve picked up an apple from the fruit stand so I’ll never really know if I got it right. I look at my bowl and I don’t even know what half the things in there are, but I’ve got mental picture – I considered a real picture but I would have weirded even myself out doing that – and so when I get back home next week I’ll try and recreate it and then sell it on ebay. I was also saying hello to Martin and Sean as I was putting the salade de schwartz together, so I probably got a couple of things wrong. I don’t think he used french and balsamic together. eeuw.