Wouldn't you give just anything for just one fine dining meal? Just one?
Think about it. You have a shower, get dressed. What does one wear to the most expensive restaurant in the southern hemisphere, what with it being out in the outback and all, right in the middle of a non-profit charitable organization and everything? Your very, very best khakis might still not be good enough. Might want to buy some new linens.
Anyway, you get dressed, grab your Smart Card, your emailed confirmation and jump out of your tent and run down to the Fine Dining Bus Stop. There you meet your one or three dinner companions and huddle around with all the other groups of two or four, no bigger, no smaller, waiting for this fantastic event. You almost feel like you're living out a real live Vanity Fair fantasy or something. Isn't that Dominic Dunne there with those funny eyebrows? You casually sidle over, close enough to read his Smart Card. Why, it's hardly Dominc Dunne, it's just some other old coot. It's David Roupell! God, you think, even some of these beautiful people premies are getting old.
So you and your one or three companions finally get on the bus. You're hungry but you remembered last year, the food was good if not all that much -- kind of surprising, really, if you want to let your mind get into it, which, of course, you don't -- so you actually did eat a bit not so long ago. A veggie burger, in fact. Not bad, you make a mental note to see if they have any of that brand back home.
On the bus no one says anything. All you're thinking of is wondering if He himself will be there, and if so, with whom? Again, you can feel your mind just trying to spoil everything. Now it's all going off about your meal. Did you really choose the right one? But you had salmon just last week, you chide yourself. Besides, for this money ... no, you don't let yourself go there.
Finally, the bus stops and you alight in the impressive new foyer with drapes and everything. "Wow," you think, "this is even better than I remember!" "Are those new drapes, even?," you wonder. "They sure look good, that's for sure!"
Suddenly, as you're escorted to your table -- a little further back than you'd imagined. Right by the kitchen, in fact. Could there be a mistake? No, that's your mind again. Damn! Wish it wasn't!
Suddenly, you hear peels of laughter as if someone, somewhere's having a really good time. You look over and, why yes, it's Hansi himself, hanging out over at a table with some ... hey, there's got to be at least nine people at that table. Not four, not six and not even eight. Nine. For a moment, you think about how much fun you could have had if you'd only been able to put together your own dinner party. But then no one had the money, anyways. You remember that. Besides, you had to register months ago and until a few weeks ago half your friends hadn't even decided to go at all this year. That was before you talked them into it. Yeah, who says "satsang" isn't still flowing when you need it? Those golden pipes might not get used so much anymore these decades but ....
There's a fight outside! Something's happening. Someone's trying to get in. Eighteen security guys come running from nowhere it seems. Someone's taken to the ground. You'd love to keep watching but your server's there just then asking for your drink orders. No, she's not getting a tip, that's pretty obvious. She doesn't seem to give a shit about you, just seems tired to be honest. You want nothing but a coke, especially at these prices, but you know how weird that looks. You order the cheapest bottle of white something or other. Oh yeah, you're in Australia, you remember. How about the Shiraz?
You smile wanly at your one or three friends as if to say "Great, eh?" but you just can't quite bring yourself to say anything. Some people around you at tables nearby are actually closing their eyes. It's a bit freaky. You can't wait for the wine.
Will He come? And will She come with Him? And which She anyway?
Behind you you can hear someone arguing about their meal. It wasn't what they thought it was going to be and now they want something different. God, you think, how will Maharaji ever bring peace to the world when we're all so ..
But then you listen a little more closely and you realize that the meal this guy got really does sound kind of nothing. Why'd he order it anyway?
You're more irritated than ever.
Finally, the wine comes.
"Well," you say to your one or three friends, "how're you doing?"
Oh no, they don't answer, they just smile that kind of patronizing new age smile. What are you going to talk about now? Nothing?!
You finish your glass. Suddenly, this all sucks. You're not even that hungry, to be honest. You want to leave. Maybe come back later ... but you can't. For a second you laugh at yourself. You were so critical of that damn all-inclusive last year in Cancun but, honestly, it was a lot more fun than this. Damn, that mind again!
Now your one or three friends just look at you, wondering what you find so amusing. They don't realize it's sheepish self-loathing.