At last year’s New Year bash in the ballroom at the hotel, had two
hundred guests, this year 45 guests and the room was chilly and
had melancholic echo of yesteryears. A luxury liners’ last voyage,
ready to be chopped into bit and sent to the voracious furnaces
of China’s famished thirsts for steel.
And we, the 45, where stalwarts from bygone epoch the last of
a shrinking middle class. Too many waiters, too many cooks, they
knew what was coming next, the dole. Who needs a flat footed
waiter or a cook you can’t teach new tricks?
Twelve o’clock we toasted one another but our joy rang hollow in
the big room. The party was supposed to continue till four in
the morning as it had before, most guests left quarter past twelve;
I can only hope the crew, we dastardly deserted, drank the wine
ate food we left behind and had a proper wake.