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The Indefinite Article.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day dinner

The wrinkled little guitarist warbled in the background strumming free the notes of an era gone by. He was smartly dressed in a black and white houndstooth jacket, his tie a bright red exclamation point. His gray hair was slicked back with minty pomade, I imagined, and his moustache, a whisp of an eyelash on his lip.
The room was packed but cozy, the decor like an elegant old lady's smile. The waiters bustled about busy as bees yet we were warmly greeted, embraced by familiarity, as if visiting family from out of town.
This was the type of place that takes you by surprise, a secret interlude of gutsy dining in a city stocked with brand name restaurants. We walked into the lopsided building greeted by a carefree open door exposing a full view of the kitchen. The cook was too busy to notice those coming and going. A real stove, the kind you find in a house full of hungry growing men, puffed away in the center of the room, it's top laden with glistening pots and pans whose handles excitedly pointed our gaze to every corner of the room. Heated scents swirled and spun in a heady dance out of the kitchen and the small house dispersing it's rich fragrance into the cool night outside. Hovering about this steamy island, the cook in a splattered apron, lovingly caressed his treasures with burnished spoons and stealthy knives, coaxing forth the trembling blossom of bliss from within their boiling depths. We had to turn away with a blush on our cheek, our breath halting as if we'd just witnessed young lovers in the throes of a heat sparked moment.
We squeezed into a mini table, exhilaration floated high in the air with the cheesy red foil heart balloons that cluttered above our heads. Killy ordered a bottle of wine; Red of course, nothing else would do. And we murmurred to each other, this and that, unimportant mementoes spoken only to add our color to the musky air. The guitarist made his way from room to room, but selflessly left his notes to trail behind, a crumb for the hungry. At one point, we called him. After an inquiry, we learned the appropriate way for requesting a song. And we did. The guitarist seemed surprised at the request. An intention heralded from older times, one he knew well enough to coax me in to join. The wine was strong, the sauces rapturious, the song swelled in the air and was caught up with the balloons, to merrily dribble down again upon our thirsty faces, shiny with joy.
To dine, to dine with love and gusto, a rare priviledge, a humbling blessing, I was forced to cast my gaze down in reverance to such sweet and delicate notes of love. Every bite was a mountain top reached, every sauce soaked piece of country bread, enlightenment, the wine was endless, our fingers reached across the table, sight was inside out, sound was a pillowed storm.
Killy and I intend on making this our place, to share with each other, to experience alone, to offer as a gift to those we love. This was our unspoken pact.
There was no longer a need for words.


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