Dinner For Four

By Anjali Nayak

Before we start eating, Washington would have to take out his teeth, Bob Dylan would have to put down his guitar, and Virginia Woolf would have to take the rocks out of her pockets. Although all three pursued different fields of work (namely politics, music, and literature), their ambition for change fueled every speech, lyric, and book. Being from three vastly different time periods, it’s interesting to see what each individual’s perception and interpretation of change is. While the ideas of revolution inspired each of their works, the radically feminist Virginia Woolf might roll her eyes at every word uttered from George Washington’s mouth. Of course, I’m sure there would be tension between the two once Washington hears Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” for the first time.

A great leader and my personal favorite president, I would love to discuss Washington’s opinion on the state of the world today. The United States is in a position that completely contradicts every point made in Washington’s Farewell Address. After opening a newspaper for the first time in nearly three hundred years, I’m sure that Washington would be extremely disappointed as to the direction the United States has taken. Hearing the first president’s opinion on the current state of our country would be rather introspective. 

Dangling a cigarette from the corner of his mouth, Bob Dylan would prove to be an engrossing dinner party guest. Every word coming out of his mouth would be a riddle, almost to a point of annoying pretentiousness. Being in the presence of quite possibly the greatest songwriter of all time, I don’t think I would be able to say a single thing to him. Dylan’s four – chord masterpiece “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” was the first song I ever learned on the guitar, gateway to more than a decade of abstract, musical, bliss. 

Before heading to dinner at my favorite vegan restaurant, I would stuff my bag with Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse, in hopes of Woolf signing my favorite books. A keen observant eye coinciding with a hypnotic writing style, Virginia Woolf’s literature is a force to be reckoned with. Woolf was able to capture every angle and emotion of the 20th century, her take on current events of 2021 would be a brooding, pensive version of A Room of One’s Own. To be blunt, Virginia Woolf understands human nature to an almost extreme extent, a conversation with her would consist of an unveiling of my deepest subconsciousness. 

We would split the check and part ways. Hopefully, I would leave with a little more than what I came with.