The industrious sounds of cooking had begun below and I knew I would have to make an appearance soon. Fairly certain the hallway would be clear, I still opened the door cautiously and crept silently into the bathroom. I splashed cool water on my face and ran a brush through the unruly mop I called hair in an attempt to freshen up. Doing the best that I could in the current circumstances I went downstairs to seek out the dinner that, from the smell, promised to be delicious.
I retraced my earlier steps to the foyer of the inn. To the right was the dining room, two table placements had already been laid out and sat directly across from each other on the long formal dining table. Just beyond the swinging galley door I could hear the clatter of pots and pans; the smell that was faint upstairs was now focused in intensity and radiated from the direction of that door. Not wanting to intrude into the kitchen space, and a little unsure of myself, I stepped up to the large mahogany china cabinet that sat against the far wall.
The cabinet was similar to the one still grandly displayed in my mother’s house. My mother was so proud of the family china which had been carefully collected over two generations. The china sat polished and displayed in rows like silent testimonies of lives past, until my mother would come and gently lift a piece, and recount the tales of those lives.
Unlike my mother’s carefully curated cabinet, the one before me held glass, all of it in varying degrees of red, and in varying degrees of organization. Goblets of the fiery color lined one shelf, while another was decorated with glass sculptures of red. I was admiring the detail of color and movement in one a series of freeform bowls stacked in one other when the kitchen door swung open.
Harry was wiping his hands dry with a towel and smiled when he saw me. "I was just going to get you. Beautiful, isn't it?" He said indicating the bowls I was standing in front of with a slight nod of his head. "Chihuly. Cost an arm and a leg but I never get tired of looking at it."
"Yes, it's beautiful," I agreed, not knowing what a Chihuly was, but admiring the bowls once again.
Harry broke his gaze away from the object of our shared attention, "You know, I forgot to ask earlier – I usually do during check-in… you aren't vegetarian are you?" He smiled, “I’m really hoping you aren’t.”
I had noted the savory aroma earlier and had guessed Harry had not been preparing roasted veggies for dinner. "No I'm not.” I paused and inexplicitly added, “Although I did attempt for a bit in my early twenties. Some of my friends and I were trying to go meatless - one even tried vegan. I guess it was the cool thing to do then." A smile managed its way out through my glum recalling how my friends and I suffered and moaned the entire two weeks we were vegetarians. "Turns out though, I really like meat."