Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Tip Of My Tongue

Is food sexy? Playboy regularly features stories about asparagus and bananas and leeks and courgettes or being smeared with chocolate chip icecream. I once bought some erotic body oil, authentic Pina Colada flavour, and poured it over myself but it made my lover's tongue come out in a rash.

Then there are candle-lit dinners and those leering waistcoated waiters with outsize pepperpots. There are, too, simple picnics on the beach which only work when you're in love and because otherwise you couldn't bear the sand in the brie. Context is all, or so I thought, until I started eating with Louise.

When she lifted the soup spoon to her lips how I longed to be that innocent piece of stainless steel. I would gladly have traded the blood in my body for half a pint of vegetable stock. Let me be diced carrot, vermicelli, just so that you will take me into your mouth. I envied the French stick. I watched her break and butter each piece, soak it slowly in her bowl, let it float, grow heavy and fat, sink under the deep red weight and then be resurrected to the glorious pleasure of her teeth.

The potatoes, the celery, the tomatoes, all had been under her hands. When I ate my own soup I strained to taste her skin. She had been here, there must be something of her left. I would find her in the oil and the onions, detect her through the garlic. I knew that she spat in the frying pan to determine the readiness of the oil. Its an old trick, every chef does it, or did. And so I knew when I asked her what was in the soup that she had deleted the essential ingredient. I will taste of you if only through your cooking.

- Jeanette Winterson
'Written On The Body' (36-37)


Lately I have become orally fixated, smoking ciggies and drinking beer with abandon, wanting to eat lots of creamy rich food, to gorge on frothy coffees and milky cereal, to stuff gooey melted cheeses into my gob and fill my mouth with hot apple pie and icecream, to pop boiled eggs like lollie... But its not enough, this hunger is physical but no amount of dairy or peanut butter is going to satisfy my appetite. My tongue searches over my teeth and gums for a trace, my tastebuds remember but can't quite touch it, she is right on the tip of my tongue...

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