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It’s too cold tonight for gelato.

That doesn’t stop me from ordering gianduja and vanilla and sitting for a few moments in the hotel lounge. I haven’t had one in years, but I crave a clove cigarette.

I spent the evening with a new client. We met for sushi. James explained to me over o toro sashimi that he hasn’t got the time or inclination for a girlfriend.

We shared a seaweed salad while he clarified that he would like to have someone with whom to attend functions, someone to accompany him to restaurants. He wanted an attractive, intelligent companion who might eventually be open to a sexual partnership.

But he doesn’t want a girlfriend.

We made financial arrangements over the house specialty maki, spicy scallop salad and rice wrapped in soybean skin with a tobiko and diced daikon garnish.

He offered to either walk or drive me home, and for a man who doesn’t want to deal with the messy emotions of a relationship, he seemed disappointed when I declined.