Posts Tagged ‘favorite foods’

By Bob Chrisman

The temperature at 3:50 p.m. is 101 degrees with a heat index of 106. Chocolate melts in these temperatures. I can’t even buy it and put it in my backpack without arriving home to a glob of a candy bar wrapper that, at one time, held a perfectly solid bar of chocolate.

I’m going into withdrawal in this heat. Either I eat the chocolate as soon as I buy it or I don’t have it. The summer isn’t fair to us chocolate eaters. I pray for cooler temperatures, ones below the melting point of chocolate.

Perhaps that accounts for my foul mood of the last couple of weeks when temperatures soared into the upper 90’s and I abandoned any attempt to purchase chocolate and walk home with it. The withdrawal has reduced me to a feral human being scouring the fridge for substitutes. Carrots won’t do it, neither will broccoli or Brussels sprouts. I could always eat butter and crackers, but the mere thought of being without any chocolate, even for chocolate emergencies which occur quite frequently in my house, has made me sullen. I WANT CHOCOLATE…a bar of chocolate, a chocolate kiss, a dish of chocolate ice cream, a piece of chocolate cake…no, cake won’t do…it’s not the pure joy of the taste of chocolate on my tongue.

Pure chocolate (and I’m talking milk chocolate) melts on my tongue and wraps each of the thousands of taste buds in the bliss and ecstasy of the taste. They go orgasmic surrounded by the luscious liquid that bathes them in milky darkness. The saliva fills my mouth at the thought of the experience. This isn’t a good thing. No, I must quit thinking about chocolate or I’ll go crazy and rush out in the heat to a store where I will buy and eat chocolate bars until I satisfy this craving.

Reminds me of the time I decided to diet. I found myself in church with a friend who recommended the minister because of his good sermons. As he got up to deliver his address, I noticed that he walked like a chicken. The thought of chicken made my mouth water and from there my thoughts descended into all my favorite chicken dishes: fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken in a tarragon cream sauce, and finally my mind settled on cashew chicken from my favorite Chinese restaurant with a side of the greasiest and best egg rolls on the planet. My mind danced with the image of that dish, the smell, the taste. My stomach rumbled with anticipation.

Cashew chicken. I must have cashew chicken. I’ll die if I don’t have it. Feed me cashew chicken.

I felt the drool running down my chin and quickly wiped it away.

My friend turned to me, “Did you enjoy the sermon?”

“Yeah, I did. Is church over?”

“Sure is. What do you want to have for lunch?”

“Chocolate.” No, that’s now, not then. Right now I want chocolate in whatever solid form I can have it, heat or no heat.

NOTE: WRITING TOPIC — CHOCOLATE is the latest Writing Topic on red Ravine. Frequent guest writer Bob Chrisman joined QuoinMonkey in doing a Writing Practice on the topic.

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Mid-morning strikes me as an unusual time to write about sleep. I eat a snack-sized Zone bar, only 80 calories, innoculation against the desire for sleep that seems to hit right about now, after my coffee wears off.

I was thinking about Aunt Helen yesterday and how she drank a pot of coffee a day. We lived in different states, our family in New Mexico, Aunt Helen and Uncle Nemey in California. Whenever Mom mentioned talking to Helen on the phone, I pictured her round fig-like body seated at her formica table, a small TV on top the washer, and Helen drinking cup after cup of coffee.

I’ve started to crave cup after cup of coffee with heated milk. I could drink three or four cups, in fact, each morning. Even some afternoons I crave the smell of coffee and the feel of the smooth ceramic cup warm in my hands.

I think of the question: If I were stuck on a deserted island and could have only one food, what would it be? Right now, this moment, it would be a cup of my heated milk and coffee, or maybe heated milk and black tea chai. But forever, or for as long as the mind can see, my one food would be coffee and not chai, the chai spices too intense and the chai flavor too sweet.

I know it’s all silly, this deserted-island talk, as if there were a Starbucks on the island, as if coffee or chai were foodstuff, as if my body could survive on coffee. I’d get jittery and skinny and I’d die of starvation, although in my mind I figure there might be coconuts or mango, fish to spear with sticks, but wouldn’t I want rice as my one food?

Why is it that in my head I think of foods that give me water instead of mass? Foods like bananas and watermelon, those I could live on into perpetuity. I’d ask, Wait, can’t I also have a salty food, like popcorn, to counter the sweet? It must be the coffee that makes me have these food cravings, or the lack of oxygen, as I just now realize I’m forgetting to breathe as I write.

My sleep has been deep. I almost remember dreams, one where I’m in a box, and maybe it’s a box train on its way somewhere in the dark. Then the box becomes a fourth-floor apartment where Jim and I live, and instead of moonlight shining in the window there is light from the bar at street level. I walk to the window and see people streaming in and out of the bar, and I tell Jim, Oh no, the store next door closes at 10 but the bar will stay open ’til 5. Jim is talking to our two roommates, and I think, What a disaster to live next door to a bar.

I wonder now, sitting here, much more awake than when I started, why is it I sleep so soundly and soundlessly yet dream so noisily? Is it, as they say, a time to work out all one’s worries, and if so, what kind of thing is it that leaves me craving water and salt, coffee at all hours, and a desire to be left all alone in the dark quiet night?

-From topic post, Writing Topic – Counting Sheep

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