Sylvia recommended the pickled herring, but with my stomach troubles I declined, as politely as I could. She meant well. Sylvia was one of those people who are always trying to do the right thing, by which they mean change you for the better by hooking you up with just the right food and wine pairing. She really believed a life could depend on it. I chose instead the oysters basted in turmeric, since I heard that was a possible cure for cancer. It’s a drag. Cancer, that is. You lug it around with you wherever you go, and even though you feel fine and don’t even look like you’re dying, still you can hear the tick tock growing louder by the day. Sylvia reluctantly approved of the oysters.
“After all,” she said, “you’re not dead yet, and maybe we can fuck later on.”