Tales of food, sex and friendship




Season 7, Episode 10

September 25, 2012

Ana was sitting in the living room staring absently at the page in front of her. She’d read the same paragraph four times and sighed, frustrated, closing the book and tossing it onto the sofa.

“You OK?” Willow was perched at the table doing some kind of spreadsheet for her business.

“Yeah,” Ana said. “Just bored. And restless.”

Willow smiled sympathetically. “No news from any of the jobs you applied for?”

“Nothing,” Ana grumbled. “Not even a rejection email.”

Willow closed her laptop. “Why don’t we do something today,” she said suddenly. “Head out of town somewhere?”

“Like where?”

“How about that place over the bridge. The one everyone seems to go for lunch on the weekends. What’s it called again?”

“Sausalito?”

“That’s it!” Willow exclaimed. “We can hire a car for the afternoon and drive over. What do you think?”

Ana shrugged. It’s not like she had anything better to do. “Sure.”

***

As it turned out, the didn’t hire a car, but ended up going down to Fisherman’s Wharf and catching the ferry across. They sat outside on the deck, sunglasses, suncream, scarves and heavy jackets firmly in place. San Francisco. The ultimate city of contradiction. Even more so than on dry land, out here in the middle of the bay it felt as though two completely different temperatures were battling for supremacy: The icy wind competing with the fabled Californian sun. At this stage, both girls felt as though the wind were winning easily, the huge ball of fire in the sky waging no more than an anaemic campaign.

Ana bought them each a cup of hot tea, more to warm their frozen hands than to drink, and they watched as the landmark rich landscape slipped by: Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the funny pointy building that neither of them knew the name of…

“Excuse me ladies?”

Willow and Ana looked up. Standing in front of them were two affable yet predictable looking chaps dressed in sensible clothing, eager expressions on their college-boy faces. Baseball caps proclaiming allegiance to what the girls’ supposed where sporting teams were perched loyally on their heads.

“Mind if we take a seat?” one of them said. He had a drawling mid-west accent, so in actual fact it sounded as though he’d said “Mahnd if way tayke a sayt.”

Ana and Willow looked around at the almost-empty deck of the ferry. There were about fifty other chairs they could have occupied.

“We’re on vacation,” the friend – with similar tonality (“way’re on vay-cay-shon”) – said, as if that would explain their desire to sit in such close proximity to Ana and Willow.

“How pleasant for you,” Ana said calmly, “and as much as we hope you enjoy your vacation, we don’t, in fact, wish to play a significant role in shaping it.”

“Huh?” The two boys looked at each other. One scratched his head, as though that would somehow arrange the words into a semblance of order for him.

Willow coughed to try and hide the laugher that bubbled up in her throat.

“What I’m trying to say,” Ana continued patiently, “Is that we think you would probably enjoy yourselves a lot more without our company.”

The boys looked a bit put out but had the good grace to know when they were fighting a losing battle.

“I thaynk thay must be les-bee-ans,” Willow and Ana heard one of the young men whisper to the other as they walked away. The two boys turned to look back with curiosity and Willow waved coyly, putting her hand on Ana’s knee, trying not to laugh when one nudged the other and gave him a look: ‘I told you so!’

“You didn’t want to be fawned over by college boys today did you?” Ana said. “Because if so, I wouldn’t have told them to leave us alone.”

“I don’t think I ever want to be fawned by anyone ever again,” Willow said, with far more brevity than she had intended.

Ana smiled at her and gave her hand a quick squeeze.

“Do you ever think about Tom?” Willow said suddenly.

Ana looked at her surprised. “Of course I do.”

“You never talk about him,” Willow said. “I just wondered…” she shrugged.

“I can’t stop thinking about him,” Ana admitted, sighing. “But I know that he wasn’t making me happy, so in that regard it was the right thing to do.”

“Who do you think will make you happy?”

“I don’t think I’m ever going to find a guy that makes me completely happy,” Ana said. “I’m now convinced that I’m going to end up all alone. Maybe with lots of cats.”

“You hate cats.”

Ana shrugged. “Perhaps I’ll learn to love them because I’ll be incapable of loving a man.”

Willow laughed. “Tell you what, we can be spinsters together – with or without the cats – because I don’t think I’m ever going to be ready for another relationship.”

Ana solemnly lifted her paper cup with the now lukewarm tea in it. “Here’s to us,” she said. “Two spinsters in the making.”

***

They had lunch in European style pizza restaurant overlooking the water. It was next to a small yacht club, where the Sausiltians – or honorary weekend Sausilitians – keep their marine craft tied to a long wooden jetty when they weren’t using them. Over here, the warm sunshine reigned supreme. The  food was delectable – the pizza crust wafer thin, the toppings fresh and flavoursome and both Ana and Willow felt a sense of peace fall over them as they sat, listening to the waves lap gently against the jetty, slowly eating their food.

Ana was about to take another bite of pizza when she looked up and paused. “Willow, isn’t that Fred?”

“Where?”

“Over there.”

Ana pointed out towards the end of the jetty, where a man was walking slowly back towards the shore. He had a jumper tied over his shoulders and he carried what looked like a picnic basket.

Willow squinted. “Yeah,” she said. “I’m pretty sure it is.”

Walking next to him was a woman, her short auburn hair gently caressed by the wind. She carried a pair of shoes in her hand, treading carefully over the wooden slats of the jetty with her bare feet. She threw her head back and laughed at something Fred said.

“Who’s the lady with him?” Ana said. “His sister or something?”

They watched as Fred put the picnic basket down and wrapped his arms around the woman, embracing her in a long, passionate kiss. He whispered something in her ear, to which she smiled, staring deeply into his eyes for a moment, before pulling him back towards her, and kissing him again.

“I really hope that isn’t his sister,” Ana said. “That would be too gross.” She paused and took a bite of her pizza. “I didn’t know he had a girlfriend. You never told us.”

“I didn’t know he did,” Willow said. She was as surprised as Ana. Fred had never mentioned any woman, except his ex-wife. But she was still in his ex-house in New York bunkered up with his ex-best friend.

“I would have sworn that he had the hots for you.”

Willow rolled her eyes. “Well hopefully now you can see that’s not true.”

“Maybe he’s a polygamist,” Ana said mischievously, “and he’s grooming you to be his next wife?”

Willow groaned. “I don’t think that’s likely.”

As Fred and his companion walked along the jetty, closer to where the girls where sitting, Willow raised her hand to wave at them.

“Oh my god,” she said, almost under her breath, a frown creasing her face. She dropped her hand.

“What? What is it?”

“I know her!”

“Who?”

“The lady that Fred’s with.”

“You’ve met her?” Ana said. “Who is she?”

“She’s the lady from the bank,” Willow said slowly. “The one who wouldn’t give us the loan.”

“Seriously?” Ana peered at the woman. “Are you positive?”

Willow nodded her head.

“What the hell is Fred doing kissing her then?” Ana said furiously.

“I don’t know,” Willow said, shaking her head in bewilderment. “I have absolutely no idea.”

 

***

 

Ravenous will be taking a break for a few weeks. We’ll see you soon with Season 8. Thanks for reading.