Once upon a time, some very important people had a very important business lunch. Business lunches were salmon or chicken Caesar salad and Diet Coke, and jewel-toned suits for the women and charcoal or black suits for the men, forced laughter, and a cup of black coffee at the end, everybody knows that, but at this particular business lunch, the manager of the restaurant brought out a complimentary tray of dessert.
It was amazing! It was a huge tray of tarts piled with glazed fruits, and little glass pots filled with trifle and mousse, and chocolate-covered strawberries the size of eggs, and a pastel rainbow of macarons, and in the center, there was this giant brick of cake, which the server split open to reveal a sort of geologic formation with strata of chocolate and caramel and raspberry and whipped cream.
Everyone was thrilled! But because it was a fucking business lunch, they each had to ooh and aah, and then take one paltry macaron, profess fullness and vague disinterest, and go back to talking about business.
The dessert tray wilted in the middle of their tiresome conversation, like a giant, neglected monument to everything that was colorful and interesting about life.
After they left, the manager hauled the nearly untouched dessert tray back into the kitchen, and the cooks and the bussers and the barista and bartender and managers and food runners and servers had the best afternoon ever! They turned up the kitchen radio and shoved cake in each other’s faces like they’d just been married, and they all got totally hammered, too, because why the hell not? Later, a lot of them went out dancing.