I ventured out, and here is what I discovered happens at dinner parties.
I had not been to one in years.
The night was what I expected: Fried pappadums from a store bought package, samosa from Whole Foods, stewed vegetables, shredded chicken with mushrooms, and brown rice.
The first hour was a series of stories in which each person was assertive with authority.
Most of these involved traffic violations and big, black women.
L attempted, having been asked, to talk about her recent medical work in Cambodia, but mid-sentence was
cut off, matters shifting to the husband of the interrupter who said he was making a movie
about the music used in silent films. He made the statement, but no one took up the topic.
The next hour was a photographer’s opinion, with group discussion, that he should be allowed to photograph anyone and anything he likes without permission.
Finally, the evening ended with a round-up of topics: The government is becoming totalitarian, we are being watched through cameras at traffic lights,
and the Middle East and world are unstable due to Iran.
In sum, the theme was: Power despite physical, emotional, and mental evidence to the contrary.
Near the end of the night, I threw my right wrist into the path of a glass holding red wine, which landed all over the shirt of the man sitting next to me.
He took it in stride.