"He," the failed poet and unnamed copy editor at a publishing house, eagerly makes his way through London to meet up with his old flame 15 years after the end of their affair. He arrives to find their kitschy old haunt Zanzotti's now upscale and trendy, having changed with the times. But he is steadfastly unchanged, and he is bitter, adding Zanzotti's to a long list of perceived betrayals and abandonments.
In contrast, the unnamed "she" sweeps into the restaurant, matching its pace and glowing with luxury and tranquility. Married to a successful and respected author, she has not, like him, been ravaged by time; neither is she vulnerable to the temptation of wine, while he is by now well on his way to drunk. Was he hoping their lunch would be prelude to a sexual liaison? Was she hoping for reconciliation or forgiveness? He opens a second bottle, the recriminations fly, and lunch is served.