Dust [2 Hivvem 4261]
Me:"Really, you should come to Across Saga with me. They're very friendly there."
Dustweed:"I'm not really traff."
Me:"No, but you can fake it better than ... well, better than me by half. By several times, if you compare how long I've been with an Orren and how long you've been with a Rassimel."
Dustweed:"Well ... you can't really expect me to be all political and activist and determined to talk about the Goodness That Is Traff. I don't really think it's a good choice ... even if it's my only choice."
Me:"Are you still thinking about breaking up with Tethezai?"
Me:"And you're still not doing it?"
Me:"See? You're qualified to call yourself traff!"
Dustweed:"See? I'm condemned to call myself traff!"
Me:"You'll come, then?"
Dustweed:"You'll pay, then?"
I've been paying my tabs at Across Saga in amber. This is important for two reasons. First, Across Saga isn't as much of a noble's establishment as some, so paying by signing the tab and having them send someone to get the money -- or not -- is a bit awkward. Second, I'd be just as happy if ~mother~ didn't get a full record from the bank about how often I go there.
(And about that 'or not' -- some nobles don't have as much money as they might wish to. Sometimes, when restaurants come and ask for payment, the nobles put them off. That's usually when the restauranteur comes to the noble's city home and has to deal with a servant -- probably a servant who knows that the noble has funds for the restaurant or the servant's salary, but not both. I don't have a servant or a debt like that. The Bank of Teleporting Hexagons pays my tabs, and if I spend too much on one topic they will take it out of another topic's budget and warn me. I'm trying to be good and not annoy ~mother~ in little things. There are enough big things to annoy zir about.)
Which is a very long-winded way of saying that I checked to see if I had enough money on hand to pay for two -- I did -- and then made Dustweed carry it, since she's much larger and stronger than me.
That was a bit of a mistake, though.
I usually sit at a low oval table by the fireplace, on the outer side of the line of lanterns. This is the best place in the house for peoplewatching, or, to be more specific, Orrenogling. I have done a good deal of Orrenogling there, and with rather more hope than anywhere else. It is also generally free -- the tables on the inner side of the lantern-line are more popular.
Heartshell, the headwaiter, waved her antennae friendlily to me "Ah, Sythyry coming as a Zi Ri tonight, and with a friend. May I seat you by the bookshelf?" She indicated the most secluded seat in the house, in the corner, partially concealed behind the bookshelf.
Me:"Oh, my usual table isn't free?" But it was.
Heartshell:"Your guest might be more comfortable there."
Well, I know the etiquette of restaurants and headwaiters as well as anyone. (No, I don't, but I am learning just a little.) I showed a lozen -- which involved reaching into Dustweed's purse. "No,I think my usual table will be fine."
I was wrong about the usual etiquette of restaurants. She flattened her antennae in an embarrassed sort of denial, and deliberately looked away from the coin and towards the corner.
I'm sure that, somewhere in the library of Vheshrame, one can find a strange and mysterious prophecy of doom, set to go off when a waitress refuses a bribe for an available table. It is not very well catalogued, since all the scholars of prophecies knew that no such thing could ever happen.
I haven't read that prophecy though, so I took the suggested table a bit grumpily.