Who were they?
Three men, friends for years.
Where did they meet?
In a restaurant, on a side street, behind the bar and down a curl of steps.
What sort of restaurant was it?
Italian of course. For intimate conversation nothing is better. Italians know that the art of living requires artfulness — good food and lots of it, wine ditto — but it requires even more than that, consideration. Hence all the studied acts of deference, those multiple mini-violations of the 13th Amendment (“Ciao, ciao” in Venetian dialect originally meant “[Your] slave, [your] slave”): the musical recitation of specials, the making sure that the wine glass