foam_publication for Blanc Mange Cinema
Food as a memory behaves like an old friend wafting into your mind with pleasant textures, fragrant smells and exciting tastes. It takes you right back to that special moment when you were ready and willing to accept the surprises of a new dish or the comfort of a familiar one. Yes, and you had to be open; you had to open your mind and eyes and palate to allow your tongue to caress the nutritional sensations. And even now, it would bring back a memory that is so tactile, so fragrant, so real.
We used to get up late. Our sheets, limbs and hair tangled; our skins still glowing of nightly lovemaking. We would coyly look at each other in the morning, recollecting what had passed during the night. I could still taste him in my mouth; strangely musky, a bit spicy. The smoothness of his skin like stroking a perfectly ripe mango. I could smell his scent in my hair; I would ruffle my hair to make me remember him, and I would swell like a mellon: sweet, juicy and ready.
Breakfast would resemble late night dinner: chaotic, unplanned and necessary. Bits and morsels scarped together to make up a few dishes. A bit like frantic lovemaking: unplanned, messy, instant and necessary.
I would make coffee, feeling nervous whether I had put enough in the pot. Would it be too weak or too strong? Would I be too weak or too strong. Does a woman’s desire manifest itself in the way she makes her lover coffee in the morning? I would cut up some fruit; their juices oozing over my fingers; I would stop and smile and sigh, and think of his uncontrolled – almost childlike – kisses. Sometimes I would cut myself, my blood would colour the white slices of apple, pear and banana faintly red. Suck my finger to stop the bleeding. The taste of my own blood: acid, unwanted, taboo.
A friend taught me to roll lemons and limes before squeezing them. Rolling them on the table with the palm of your hand would release the juices. I sometimes felt he rolled me like that; cupped in his hand. On a smooth flat surface. It would release my juices.
I digress. I would squeeze the limes and pour them over the salad. Sometimes mix in some honey and nuts. I like the consistency of honey, how it slowly slowly trickles its way down. The mobility of sweetness: thick and lazy. I also liked to add chopped mint; crunchy, fresh, like us – after a shower.
I would take out the cheeses from the fridge: soft and firm mozzarella, creamy fromage blanc, and bubbly cottage. Sometimes, when feeling particularly in need of green, I would chop up all the fresh herbs I could find and sprinkle them over the cream cheese: dill, parsley, mint, tarragon, coriander, marjoram, basil. My own little forest of pleasure: dotted white and green.
I always wanted to serve him, even feed him. As if the passing on of food would tell him: yes, you ingest me, you have ingested me, I nourish on you. And I sometimes wish I could melt into him, as ice cream on the tongue.
I always thought gluttony to be the most synaesthetic of the 7 deadly sins. An uncontrolled celebration of our digestive system. There would be those hidden fantasies, where I would picture naked bodies wallowing in foods, tasting each other and eating off each other. Human becomes dish, becomes something to be totally incorporated. I think that the gourmand or in its more blatant manifestation, the glutton, truly understands the working and the pleasures of the flesh. Consumption of food and consumption of love should always be excessive. It should always push you over the edge; there is no such thing as economising on corporeal delight.
Take for example the delicate act of sharing of noodles between lovers. The bowl of soup is steaming hot; the lovers stoop over it hungry for its content and for each other. They are almost hugging the bowl with their gaze. And now, who will initiate the first move? Will she smile languidly, set her chopsticks aside and ask him to feed her; or will she push the bowl his way? Will he accept? Will he express a similar behaviour? She will lift the chopsticks to her mouth; the noodles thick and glistening and she will look at him from under her eyelashes – almost shy. And as she slowly slurps her noodles, he will look at her and feel a weird combination of aroused desire and hunger. His face is close to hers. He can hear her breathe – the little noises she makes when chewing and swallowing; he can feel how a bowl of noodle soup can create a very intimate moment between two people. She might pass him a morsel of shitake or tofu; he will accept silently; almost obediently. It is during that moment that she understands her power over him; her role in this game. She can bend him at her will. She can feed him, or not, and he is all surrendered to her will.
Both lovers are involved in the dynamic of excess, of feeding and not feeding, of fluctuating between sexual desire and appetite for food. Power shifts, bowls get emptied, and lovers change.
It is the dish saved for last: the grand finale – the climax of a meal. Sweet and sticky, cool and frosty; airy or baked, fruit or flan. Dessert is where expectations soar, where promises are broken, where last conversations are held. It has to be perfect; encapsulating all projections of the previous courses. Dessert is the diner’s orgasm: not the goal of a meal but a very pleasant aside.
I like puff pastry; reminding me of human skin. Its brittleness as it crumbles in your mouth, and leaves tiny flakes as residue all over the place. I like to run my finger over the crumbs, make them stick, lap them up. I had always imagined how it must look and feel to roll a body, slightly wet, into flake pastry crumbs. See them stick, and crack, lap them up. The merging of moist and crispiness, the crackling of fortunes.
The idea of dessert as coating of skin, as a layering of textures…this is what I want to close my meal. The fantasy of extending that one flavour, that one relish. Dessert is something one clings on to; it is stretching taste buds, time and the sensuousness of eating to the limits. It shocks you with extravagant creations or unusual combinations. It seduces and lures you. It is something you crave, and want to linger linger linger.
The relationship between diner and dessert is very sensuous: it is all about coveting. Almost unwontedly – you cannot stop yourself from indulging in spoonfuls. And another…