My Dinner with Daniel Craig

January 24, 2009

Saturday Morning Dream of a Stay at Home Dad


I am alone with a woman who is not my wife, and with no diaper bags on our shoulders we are skipping through the narrow, cobblestone lanes of West Los Angeles.

Whoever she is, she is a pleasant composite of my wife’s predecessors. It is dusk, I am fully aware that somewhere my real life is waiting for me, but am sure that I’ll get back to that eventually and so decide to roll with it.

We had returned among a small fleet of sardine boats to the shores of Santorini,  and as soon as we had berthed our ketch at Santa Monica Pier, we traced an upward path among the whitewashed masonry past the donkey carts and fish peddlers to the small Persian restaurant where our party awaited us.

I expected to find the two familiar couples there, but seeing Daniel came as a surprise. He was solo. They had all finished dinner, and were leaning together over a table of empty wine glasses in the small garden out back. As the waiter leaned over the table to take the check, Daniel caught his arm.

“I’ll take care of this,” he said. I saw that the tab had run to $610 for 5 people.

Somewhat irked that I had missed a free dinner, I become concerned that Daniel is not pleased with me. Looking at the others, he thanks them for sharing their thoughts and for being so generous and patient with him. He raises a glass to toast in the New Year, 4705 the Year of the Ox.

“I’d be interested to know what each of you thinks was most remarkable about the year that has just passed,” Daniel asks us.

My intriguing female companion says something quite confident and impressive about some film maker and foreign cinema. I jump in and utter something about the ambiguities of Constitutional law, the body, surveillance and the State.

“That was a very graduate-student-y thing to say,” responds my companion.

I become embarrassed.  “Really? How so?”

“It just was. And half the time, you get stuff wrong.”

“What? So you mean, after dinner you’re going to go do a fact check on Wikipedia?”

“Yes, actually. You usually are off on something.”

At that point I feel a jab at my side. I wonder if Daniel is nudging me to change the subject. Then I hear another woman’s voice.

“Spot just ate a huge bowl of Cream-of-Wheat and is farting a lot, he’s probably gonna poop.” It’s my wife, a pleasant apparition above me, and circling her waist I see my son’s bed-head bobbing up and down. “I gotta go.”

I rub my aching eyes, curse computer monitors, remember my dinner with Daniel, and how he had intercepted the bill. What would he do?

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll take care of that.”


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