In our defense, the story wrote itself. The MIA group leader, the abandoned vehicle (with phone), the passing hour, the interjection by an earlier arrival that the place had been surrounded by ambulances when he showed up. I mean, what do you expect when a bunch of writers are confronted with these facts? It turns out using the front entrance and reading the damned nightly room assignments might have led to a considerably less dramatic evening. Well, in the end, Halligans hosted a joyous reunion and all was well. I’ve never enjoyed a Corner Booth session more (though technically, once again, our proper place in the Corner Booth was usurped).

We were tonight: Dean, John T., Ferne, Don, Bob, Jeff, myself (Tomek), and unusually — Magda as well. We began with a long meditation on art — not the nature of art, which once led to a long and painful email argument — but the nature of the enjoyment one derives from art. This led to the exploration of a lot of examples, and some comparisons with the art market (versus the enjoyment — consumption? — of art). My mention of Bosch provoked Dean to recall this film — thanks for that. At this stage we broke into a few smaller discussions; one I was party to explored the odd range of subjective ways one can experience external phenomenon. I mentioned the example of Georges Leroux’s L’Enfer painting, which is reproduced a lot but with huge variety in quality. But we strayed into music (Try some Sonny Stitt on for size!), and got lost in audio equipment. Brandy, whisky (note the Scottish spelling) and even Spirytus were discussed. (I drank some tea.) A couple folks did manage to salvage the evening by discussing their books as planned for the MGC session — including one on Mary Norris and honorable mention for a couple by someone not even present. As always, but even more so tonight with a distinct collective sigh of relief, a good time was had by all. Thank the gods for good friends.