Last Lunch

I was in a neighborhood bistro having a salad,  when a very rattled woman came in.

I watched her dart around the restaurant like the Secret Service finally choosing a table adjacent to mine easily seating 6.  Suddenly two other women came also carrying concerned expressions, clearly making certain all was perfect.

A few minutes later the scene took shape when a lady in her 70s approached the door on a walker, an attendant by her side, eerily unwell.  I watched her friends greet her warmly with hugs and kisses, trying valiantly to hide their grief I imagine, realizing, this would probably be the last time they’d be together.

Oddly enough, the guest of honor was the only one who seemed peaceful and happy to just be there with her pals.

They were all dressed in blazers and crisp slacks, white linen buttondowns brandishing pearls, that if could only talk, while vintage Fendis swung from their arms.

One woman, a little heavy-set, wore a forest green suit with what looked like, an Hermes scarf, tied loosely around her neck, apparently a gift of yore from the woman they were celebrating.

They dressed up for their friend whose white hair danced in the overhead light, she in a purple twinset attempting to mask her withered frame.  Layers are like smoke and mirrors remembering how my mother advised me, wear pleats Susannah, you’ll look less scrawny.

When the wine started to flow the sadness took flight, as they toasted one another reminiscing about their lives.  It was like watching a very poignant play you already knew the end to.

At one point, the white haired woman turned to me, smiling, raising her glass.

“To life,” she said.  I’ve had a great one.”

I smiled back, paid my check and wept all the way home, her message braying loudly…life’s short.

Enjoy it…enjoy it.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in alcohol, friendship, Gratitude, Health, Love, New York City, words and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Last Lunch

  1. Rob says:

    It’s easy to get swept along in the moment. Life is short, if you’re comparing with the age of the universe but actually quite long, compared to expectancies of a hundred years ago. And really, how long do you want to live? Forget about longevity: live and love now. Now is all any of us have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As you approach the last leg of your tour, as they say, if you’ve learned anything at all it’s to live in the moment. Who said, youth is wasted on the young? I always forget, but always want to smack them since it’s true.


  2. Ross de Marco says:

    Yes and the time seems to accelerate as we age doesn’t it ? It’s Monday , it’s Friday ! I recently celebrated another notch in the calendar , I feel as though my birthday comes twice a year these days ! My childhood years feel somewhat surreal in retrospect like some long forgotten dream becoming a little more fuzzy as time moves on . On the other hand I’m very blessed where I’m at these days and really quite joyful in my heart about life , though always pleased with the smallest of things I’ve taken a deeper appreciation for all the blessings the Boss has given .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    What a beautiful piece, Susannah. Absolutely beautiful. So many people would have glossed over their table and never noticed the true story. You brought tears to my eyes, both with your story and my own memories of last lunches.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When you’re out alone you see things. Observation becomes the norm. Toss in I’m a writer and you have a story. I made reference to a play. It has bones for a good one. Women who show up for each other is a beautiful thing and this group was positively awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Sweet !


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ross de Marco says:

    Still better late than never and even at that I’m grateful , for some it never arrives . Sad .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia says:

    It seems the invisible is often visible to you. It is a rare gift to see the essence of life through the layers of nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful story. The last supper. Ok, maybe it was lunch but that doesn’t have the same auspicious ring to it. Friendship is beautiful, especially the long-term kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You too would have been deeply affected. The sight of them. And love the image of apostles because, and I’m no Jesus freak by any means, but the guest of honor had a divine quality to her. Maybe that’s what happens when you know you’re checking out and have made peace with it. Sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Point on my friend, point on. It’s such a mixed bag of feelings, but I must say I love that she included you in the toast….cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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