3PM On A Work Day

It doesn't happen often, but I think we ought to acknowledge the permissiveness of the 3:00pm Cocktail.

We all work, in one way or another. We all earn a living. We all make ourselves available to those who grant us the recommendation of their business. That means being clear headed and functional at 3pm in the afternoon—because we work on their behalf, in their office or are at their beck and call. And that's how it should be.

So, to sit in a fine lounge with fine lounge music playing, in front of a finely tuned mixologist, on a work day, is probably one of the most indulgent experiences we can partake in.

So I did that today. I worked. I worked on behalf of some amazing clients. I sold the product I believe in. I schmoozed. I spoke with honest earnestness. I told the truth. I even inspired a few people. And I did so in front of a crowd of very accomplished wine folk. I did my job and I did it well. But by 2:30pm, I was done….and I was in New York City.

I walked out of the restaurant, happy, satisfied with a job well done, and realized it was 2:30pm. Reading from my iPhone I realized that Grand Central Station and the Campbell Apartment was actually closer than my hotel.

I made my getaway.

This dark and wannabe-smokey hideaway was nearly empty. The cushy chairs and couches were without asses. Four or five stray drinkers were at the bar and the mixologist was at my disposal. And it was 3pm. I felt like I had stolen the pie from the window.

"Mix me a Makers Mark Manhattan, up, stirred, not shaken, please."

And he did, with efficiency and panache.

I took it back the corner of the Apartment, under the balcony where I could see the bar, the windows behind the bar, the lovely waitress when she came to the bar, and the rest of this beautiful room that speaks to me with courage and beauty the way a retired, old, beautiful, experienced whore might—just because she likes the company of a John who may have hired her in days past.

And it was 3pm in the afternoon on a work day.

As I sat in the corner and took in the permissive moment, I did pine for the company of another, someone in particular I know who I truly wanted to share this moment with and whom I might share the place with, and one who might appreciate the convivial conversation of the old whore who stroked my affections. But I'll bring her here another time. I will. But for now, I loved the moment alone in the embrace of a well-made Manhattan and the comfort of a lounge that caressed my simple desires at 3pm on a work day.

The lonely consumption of a Manhattan in the near-empty Campbell Apartment on a Friday at 3pm was indulgent stuff. You fire people for doing this too often. But when you do this on occasion, very rarely, just to remember what indulgent, self absorption really feels like, you aren't really breaking the rules. You are bending them in a way any good set of clients or boss ought to appreciate. After all, the ability to simply please oneself without hurting anyone else is the sign of a good man.

A half hour later I ate the cherry and drew the last breath out of my Manhattan—straight up and stirred, rather than shaken— put my dark grey jacket on my frame, straightened my tie, picked up my satchel, got up off the fine and comfortable couch and walked out, down the stairs and back out into Grand Central Station where I found a cab. I was satiated from a good day of fine work and a fine half hour of lounging bliss.

And as I rode down Park Avenue in the back of the cab I thought to myself, this is the way to do business. This is the way to spend a good life. This is the way to please the soul. This is the way to spend an afternoon on a work day at 3pm.

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13 Responses

  1. Samantha - March 28, 2009

    Chocolate for breakfast, cocktails at 3 in the afternoon on a work day….you are my kind of man Tom!

  2. Arthur - March 28, 2009

    Lucky bastard…..

  3. Kathy - March 28, 2009

    Beautiful writing. Thank you for taking me with you.

  4. Arthur - March 28, 2009

    I agree Kathy
    “…speaks to me with courage and beauty the way a retired, old beautiful, experienced whore might do so just because she likes the company of a John who migtht have hired her in days past”
    Sheer poetry! Mover over Whitman!

  5. Christian Miller - March 28, 2009

    “And as I rode down Park Avenue in the back of the cab I thought to myself, this is the way to do business. This is the way to spend a good life. This is the way to please the soul.”
    …this is one of the fringe benefits of having your own business. Of course, there are also those Saturday nights you don’t get to go to a much anticipated tasting or party because you chugging espresso and wrapping up a project due Monday. 9-5 has its upsides and downsides.

  6. joel Carvalho - March 29, 2009

    View your blog and found it very interesting … Parabens
    I would ask you could put the link in my blog on your site: http://do-nariz-a-boca.blogspot.com/
    May be?
    When you send a mail to ask here: pirusas.carvalho @ hotmail.com

  7. Dylan - March 29, 2009

    Tom, could you explain the difference between having a Manhattan stirred rather than shaken? You seem to be passionate on the subject, so I’d be interested to hear your opinion on their separate merits or lack there of.

  8. mydailywine - March 29, 2009

    We just missed each other! I was in NY last week. Campbell Apartment was on my list due to your recommendation but I never made the time to get there last week.
    However, I did have a wicked good Manhattan last night at home and thought of you, my fellow Manhattan lover.

  9. r f - March 29, 2009


  10. lagramiere - March 30, 2009

    loved this post Tom…

  11. Eric - March 30, 2009

    Amen, brother…

  12. Gary "Iron" Chevsky - April 2, 2009

    Nice writing. The “whore” reference was too provocative. Bravo! “A glass of wine for lunch is a necessity of life” — Thomas Jefferson. (j/k)

  13. Susan - April 3, 2009

    Love the language.

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