(Continued from the previous entry)
I walked on along the twilight street, but my inner turmoil did not seem to calm down. It was obvious now that the lady in a black formal dress at the restaurant rejected us because of how I looked. I was wearing a jacket, but underneath it I had my T-shirt on, with very vivid illustrations.
Apparently it was a question of dress code. The salaryman and his girl, who came after us, were welcomed into the restaurant without any problem. In my view, they were rather homely people, without any particular distinctions. The fact that the lady at the restaurant welcomed them seemed to tell me something deep and sinister about society in general.
Maybe it was only my youthful imagination. Perhaps I should have worn a jacket and tie like the salaryman. But then I never wore a tie, unless it was absolutely necessary. And you never know beforehand that you would walk into a restaurant with a draconian requirement as to how customers should be dressed. It seemed not at all sensible to live in the shadow of a possible encounter with such an establishment.
The more I thought about it, the heavier my heart became. At least, the lady at the reception should have told me explicitly the dress code of their place. It was not sensible at all just to tell that we were not welcome. One might take it personally. I took it personally. I had to call the place.
I happened to have the card of the restaurant, which I took casually as I left. I phoned the number. After some ring tones, a woman's voice answered. I tried to be as calm and to the point as possible.
"Hello. we are the customers who have just visited your place. You told me that you had no table this evening. After we left, we saw a salary man couple walk into the restaurant. Apparently they had no reservation. If your rejection was based on a dress code, you should have told us so. I think it would have been only fair. I don't think we would visit your restaurant ever again. Good bye!"
When I told the lady about the salary man couple, she seemed to gasp on the other end. When I hung up, I felt I had done all I could do, and the best thing would be to forget about it. But my inner wounds seemed to remain unhealed, tormenting me with every step.
I started to walk on street again, looking for a place to rest my soul.
My girl friend, who was listening to my conversation on the phone and therefore understood the situation for the first time (she was not someone who would naturally notice these things), held my hand and said, "you know, you are a fine gentleman".
Her gentle voice finally provided the consolation for the evening. It came as unexpected as the rejection at the reception.
(End of this essay.)