> jumping into life.

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I would not call myself a hedonist.

I cannot, however, deny that I do enjoy indulging myself. My bed is decadent: pillowtop mattress, buttersoft red flannel sheets, big fluffly comforter on top. Of all the senses, touch is the easiest to satisfy. Give me a bath so hot you can't wiggle your toes or they'll burn, give me smooth skin to rub against or a barrel of beads to plunge my hand, a cool breeze on a hot day: delight.

As we are preparing dinner last night, she asks, if you had to give up one sense, which would it be?

Well it could not be touch, if only because what would be the use of living unanchored, like a ghost that knows the world is there and cannot reach it? What would be the use of living without the scrape of alligator juniper bark, the chill of rain down the back of your coat? No, touch must stay.

We are making lasagna. Real lasagna, the kind you make without a recipe because there's so much cheese it can't help but be good. The noodle pot steams the windows as we chop and chop, pulling the stems off spinach and basil, turning the pale globes of onion to rubble piles. Dominican merengue commands all our movements, so that we spin to pass each other in the small space, chop in rhythm, cannot stand still. No, I couldn't give up sound. Else how to hear Prospero's speech, or the scream of a redtail, or the beat to dance to? We dance dinner into being: a mountain of mozzerella, a sea of riccotta swimming with herbs. Three heads of roasted garlic, one for the sauce and two for the bread.

One of the only things my mother likes to cook is lasagna, and it is accordingly one of my favorite favorite foods, the dish I request without fail when I go home to visit. The past few years, the lasagna I've made and had has been mostly an imitation of sorts: tofu for ricotta, whole wheat noodles. Standard hippie stuff, and it's good. But not good like my mom's, and certainly not good like this.

We insist on tasting the ricotta again and again until he slaps our hands away and we are reduced to scraping the empty containers with our fingers. We clink our glasses of Chianti and pour a splash in the sauce, which bubbles merrily. The kitchen is full of the scent of roasting garlic, deepening tomatoes, rosemary and basil, all carried on the noodle steam. Not scent, either: how would you know where you were without the smell of pine trees, or the the smell so faint it is precious, right at the crook of his neck? And scent is bound so closely to taste:

We eat salad and bread while the lasagna bakes, the nestled layers melding. The salad is bright, fresh greens and tomatoes and avocado, a sweet orange dressing with just a hint of cayenne bite. The bread is garlic and rosemary perfection, with a layer of bleu cheese that makes our eyes roll back into our heads. We eat in a silence punctuated by soft moans and breathy superlatives. This is good food. We agree to keep taste - food is my favorite indulgence, after all. A bursting ripe peach, or a good piece of bread, dark chocolate, sweet coffee. Yes. Few things in the world can fill me with more unabashed enjoyment than can food.

But then the thing itself is ready, the main course, sliding heavy onto our plates, juice and cheese and tomato, oh my.

What about sight, then? she asks. Sunsets, Klimt and quirky smiles? What about rabbit tracks through fresh snow? What about navigating desert trails, microscope slides, flowers?

Yes, but each of us, swaying to the music from our seats on the couch, each of us as we put the first bite to our mouths, breathing deep, each of us, as the flavors rolled through our bodies, each of us closed our eyes.

Damn, you can write. I'm speechless.

A thing of beauty is this post. Thank you.

Thanks, ladies! I really appreciate your comments - it means a lot to get some nice feedback. I'll try to keep up the good work. ;)

we do know how to do it right, don't we?
what a fabulous depiction of the evening.
to many more days that bleed together seamlessly

Hey Kat... been a long time! Anyway, had to agree with the other two- this is incredible (totally publish-worthy incredible).

Hope you're well, girl!

Such luscious writing, Kat.

I sometimes discover that I've closed my eyes while watching a movie, when the soundtrack is particularly beautiful. It's never a conscious decision, and I don't understand the mechanism behind it. It seems that I must shut out the visual stimuli - especially when larger than life - to fully savor what I'm hearing.

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