My First Time (A Fiery Food Fantasy)...

1991.
A Scottish coastal town.
The beach front.

I sit down on a long stone wall and look out towards the lights across the river.

Twenty miles and a world away.

Sophisticated.
Dangerous.

I am both jealous and excited.

I can hear the waves caressing the shore, but in the inky, starless night, I see nothing.
I smell seaweed.
And urine.

It's 3 o' clock in the morning and I feel like a wannabe Holden, on his lonely hill, trying to conjure up some kind of goodbye.

In exactly seven days time, I shall leave this place, join the cultured and the decadent.

I turn to the plastic bag beside me on the wall.
In the bag, my first real curry, one that doesn't require the addition of boiling water...

Why did I wait so long?

Fear?
Too adventurous for a life-long fish and chip boy?

Probably...

I remove the carton from the bag.

It is heavy, and yet strangely weightless.

My fingers move slowly across the top edge of the carton, and I grip the tin foil very lightly between thumb and forefinger.
Through the metal, I can feel the heat radiating onto my skin, and with methodical patience, I slowly unfold the tin foil.

Instinctively, it occurs to me that such things must not be rushed...

I delicately remove the paper lid, the underside glistening with condensation, and put the lid into the plastic bag.

The evening is cold and the sky is clear.
Vapor rises into the air, and in the weak orange glow cast by a distant street lamp, I contemplate the texture, the consistency, the color...

I take the nan bread from the bag, and break off a piece.
The surface of the curry is thick and slightly viscous, and I use gentle force to break through to the sauce.

My senses are full of the promise of taste, my lips moist in nervous anticipation.

I take the bread and cautiously lick the hot, rich sauce.

Salty.
Sweet.
Slightly bitter.

And then I dip a second time, scoop up a piece of chicken, and gently bite into the firm, tender, off-white flesh...

An explosion...

Of garlic and onions, of crushed chilies and cumin and saffron and coriander, of coconut milk and cilantro.

I have become hyper aware...

The volatile aromas combine and recombine, reveal their myriad expressions.

And finally die in my throat.

The initial tingling sensation has spread from my tongue, to my mouth, and now I can feel the heat pulsing through my entire body.

I am on fire... and the pleasure of burning is equaled only by pain, as my tongue, my lips, my entire face, are consumed by this fire.

And as each mouthful takes me closer to this culinary edge, I know I have already left this land I once knew.

The world is a big place and I am part of it.
Finally.


And yet one question remains, mysterious and unanswerable...

Shall I ever be able to eat fish and chips again?
waterlooSunset waterlooSunset
36-40, M
3 Responses May 8, 2012

i can't say you didn't warn me but i suppose i shall go have a cool shower now...

eating a banana as I was reading this. not very sensual hahahha! <br />
I feel so insensitive now :P

Ripe, juicy, smooth-skinned peaches; round, soft, tender tomatoes. Now, where IS that group for fruit fetishists... ;)

aha! now you're talking! :)

Ok, next story idea... ;)

Eating a banana can be very sensual, very.

1 More Response

The hotter the better !

I had specifically asked for the very hottest curry they had. I was young and stupid and suffered hell for a week... ;)