I Have a Dinner Date With a Ghost
My dad worked downtown for 40 years and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that he probably ate at Harry's about 2,000 times. Lunch most days...Harry's. Dinner with clients...Harry's. Mom would drag us into town to see dad's office...Harry's. Celebrate that big deal...Harry's. Dad, can you meet me tonight, I need to share what's going on in my life and/or need advice...sure, meet me at Harry's. I remember, as a whipper-snapper of 4, playing with my Matchbox cars on the floor of the wine cellar at Harry's close to dad's table; and, as a whipper-snapper of anywhere from 16-20, there were umpteen lunches and dinners with dad's friends imparting career advice to me. And, there was that one night when dad let it out that he had been deeply wounded by someone we both love, where we both cried in our dinners completely unaware that we were in a public place. Then there was the time that Harry, as a favor to dad, got me a job interview with an industry contact of his, which turned out to be for me that one life changing interview that everybody has (or ought to have). No, not the one where you get the job. The one where the interviewer hands you your ass and makes you feel worthless. The one that shocks you out of your naive sleep, fires your ambition and awakens your seriousness. I still wonder if maybe dad and Harry didn't orchestrate the whole debacle for my own good.
Anyway, Harry's is one of those immutable venues - like the parking lot of Giants Stadium, or the golf course, or the room in the basement with the pool table - where I got to soak up the man, where we were viscerally father and son. And Duck Confit Ravioli won't change that. Reservation for one, and a ghost.