Gluttony, while it might be one of the seven deadly sins, the seventh and last in the latest revised version, should be disregarded as a one. I’m hopeful to persuade myself that the over indulgence that actually lead to the most satisfying meal I’ve ever enjoyed will be cleared in the eyes of God… relinquish me from eternal damnation. How can God, after all, deny a man such delight if it really wasn’t meant to overindulge?
I remember it as if it was happening right now. I can see the sun going down over the bay, turning the clouds orange in colour, giving the ocean a sense of calm in the presence of a few scattered seagulls flying close to the water. Their chant is unique, almost as if part of a complex pattern that screams out tranquility to human perception.
I must tell you about my companion if this anecdote is to make any sense. She and I remained the last two at her restaurant, see, she’s not only the Chef, but also the owner of Oceano: a small sea-shore restaurant in the Bay Area with floor to ceiling glass doors that when opened allow the sea-breeze to pierce one as if Cupid’s arrow through the heart. It brought with it the smell of the setting sun intertwined with oceanic aromas; not the stench of freshly caught fish and their intestines all over fishing boats, but one of nature where it was gratifyingly apparent that one was close to the sea.
She had prepared me a dish, said it was especially crafted for this occasion. She called it Oceano Unico. Were I well versed in intricacies of modern cuisine, I bet I could have been able to identify what was what and how it became to be called Oceano Unico.
I don’t know how I ended up with my face glued to the dish. While I might not know how it all happened, I can try my earnest to reveal the details of the dish that’s turned Gluttony to a miracle made in heaven.
I have this pet peeve against eating with my bare hands, a big one, too. I can swear upon a bible that I had never in my adult life, until meeting that dish, used my hands in such ways. They weren’t mere hands, but utensils crafting and molding the meal. It was hard to breathe from time to time because of my inability to come up for a moment of rest. I felt that if I removed my mouth from the meal it would disappear to never be had again. So, from deep within me I was given the strength, the stamina to consume that plate presented to me.
Upon touching my tongue, my mouth would water. I could literally taste the aroma traveling up my tongue, around my teeth, the roof of my mouth, and once I swallowed… God, savior of all, I felt that I had become part of what fanatics call paradise. My mouth was saturated in the sauce that seemingly increased in volume with each stroke of my fingers, of my mouth upon the meal.
Before walking into this restaurant I was a starved man, but now, now I have been consuming a dish as if a steak at stray dog party. She looked at me intently, from time to time letting me know the joy within her watching me behave as I did. My hands, oh my hands, how they were involved in the action. I might as well have been looking for priceless jewels the manner in which they behaved. I felt not a part of me could miss the meal. That if I was to die for Gluttony it would be all of me that was to be held responsible for it. The sauce, who in the right world has tasted such? I bet you not the greeks, egyptians, mayan, well maybe the Olympians… but I was there, carving into the perfection found before my face named, rightfully so, Oceano Unico.
The aroma of the ocean coming through the ceiling-to-floor doors coupled to the scent emerging from, what I can only describe as this “Immortata”, was mind numbing. Had any of you shared it, you too would claim that your dish, well, that your dish isn’t comparable to this dish. I thank Goodness that when the reason fails to understand actions, there are feelings to carry the ecstasy from the outer world deep into my emotional being.
It wasn’t just the taste, my dear friends, but also how the sauce looked dripping from the top layers down the sides onto the dish. The colours that it brought out of the meal, just as the sparkles it produced as it moved from the center of the meal, out to the sides and down… I would use my fingers just to trace the dripping liquid, bring it back to my mouth and suck it off as if a little kid. I even had to have her taste it off of my finger. I traced around the dish, looked at her, came up just for a moment to bring my finger to her lips, and… have her taste what she’d been missing up to that moment.
Upon resuming the delight, the table started shaking, and she grabbed me by the hair, shoved my face against the meal, and moaned to world’s end. She became part of the singing seagulls, part of the ocean breeze, part of the meal that I can guarantee was the most satisfying of them all.