taste bud (a night in Cornelius)
On the boat ride home, I lick the top of my palate with my tongue, trying to remember the taste of salt. I am really tired and I don’t want to forget it so fast – I want to hold on to it a bit longer. Tonight it wasn’t all about the food – that was good, but it wasn’t as I thought it would be. Tonight was about being rewarded for doing a good job, performing and delivering, and having a great time with one of our suppliers – so I want to hold on to it a bit longer.
I am thinking about senses and I think how AttentionWhore is a smell man. He loves to bury his nose deep in behind my ears, my neck, in between my breast, in between my legs – and sniff hard, deep… “I am stealing your essence,” he says. I don’t know it yet, but tonight I will use taste to steal the essence of things, and it will be a rush and I ‘ll get to impress a lot of – apparently – unimpressable people, and I will simply love it!
A 25 minutes boat takes us to Cornelius, a restaurant only accessible by sea west of Bergen. The place is literally a hidden pearl. Despite the place has been modernized to accommodate around 200 people, it maintains a fantastic aura around it, making peace with nature. We are a group of 10, but we share the boat and the experience with a large group of Statoil workers.
As the boat approaches, I feel as excited as a kid on a field trip, and I am glowing like a light bulb. We are welcome by Alf Roald, the clamman, and a glass of cold white wine. Alf gathers us all and tells us the interesting story of Cornelius, his grandfather, the man who started it all. What I notice about Alf, since I am standing right next to him, is the funny leather hat hiding some thick gray hair and beautiful blue eyes. The man has this handsomeness of a seaman, of a groomed seaman; he has this thick rough hands used to fish but his nails are very clean and polished.
I lean over close to him and I pay attention to what he says. He is from Bergen but his accent is a bit harsh. Nevertheless, he makes himself understood when he keeps deep eye contact with me the moments he makes jokes. For a moment I feel he is talking just to me. He smiles, proud of showing off. I smile back.
Despite he repeats the same story to every group coming to this little paradise, he seems happy to recount it over and over, probably driven by how much attention he gets back.
– Did you know that clams pretty much fuck themselves?
He says with a huge smile, and, unintentionally, I say out loud:
– Nothing wrong with that…
The 40 something Statoil group of men bursts laughing. I get a curious look.
Alf Roald seems to be as amused as we are. No. More. Because now he peaks his performance by showing everybody why he is also called a crabman. He takes a living crab, a big living crab, holds the sides with both hands, stick a big bite and eats it.
A. Living. Crab.
Everybody cheers. He has double his size in pride, when suddenly turns to me, looks me in the eyes and defies me:
– “You try, pretty…”
For a split of a second I see disappointment on his eyes when I say “ok!!” I snatch the crab, and while the fucker is still pinching my fingers, I stick a bite on it and eat it. Disappointment turns into admiration between a big applause. The rest of the night, when the guests look at me, they see a buddy, not a woman.
On the boat home, I close my eyes and try to take back the taste of salt again to my brain. I smile to myself. Tomorrow AttentionWhore comes to spend the weekend with me. With him I will taste salt – but it will be another kind of salt; and I will eat flesh – but it will be another kind of flesh…
…and to sense that I am really looking forward.