I chose the goat cheese and caramelized onion. Years ago, it would have been the peach and berry for sure. Years ago, on the road with the circus, it was a long day driving with nothing but circus music on the stereo, or a long day under a tent, hot under the wig and makeup, knowing I couldn't really make them laugh, and then in the off-time, nothing to talk about but the circus - but in the evening late, maybe eleven, finding some plastic-booth-breakfast-anytime coffee shop at the edge of a truck stop for limp iceberg lettuce salad and my heart hungry for cherry cobbler. Ice cream sundae. Blackberry pie.
Blackberry pie, Noni's specialty, when we picked the berries in July in Virginia when I was nine.
Chocolate mousse in a wine glass with lush unsweetened whipped cream at my mom's French restaurant.
Or in high school when I discovered there was a candy machine and I could blow dart sugar into my system anytime I had fifty cents on me.
Here I am forty now, and I choose the goat cheese and caramelized onion.
It occurred to me this morning - and I should preface this by saying I worked like thirteen and a half hours yesterday and then slept six, which may be a way of life for some people but for my puny brain it tends to set off punchiness and delusions of grandeur. But it occurred to me this morning that for most of my life, I've been very immature. OK, that’s not what occurred to me this morning – I’ve known this for a long time. Tom Spanbauer once called the novel I’m writing a bildungsroman, even though it’s based on the time when I was thirty five. No, what occurred to me this morning is that my rate of maturity is directly proportionate to the rate of my lessening interest in sweets. Which really didn't happen until these last few years.
Now lunchtime after the morning of my post and thinking about pie makes me think about something else. It's not just maturity that's different now [and I want to go on record and say I realize I'm not actually that mature]. But the other thing is some certain personal fulfillment. Some sense of self that wasn't there before. Some vague but all important something that a big velvety, cocoa-sprinkled slab of tiramisu was never a perfect substitute for - but, in all honesty, it was a pretty good consolation prize