cook my heart up, serve it well done
"You have? I guess I wasn't the instructor..."
"Yes you were."
"That's just not possible..."
He's grinning, and everything from his freshly pressed uniform to his suggestive smile has me melting into my seat.
"Yes, it was a long time ago though..."
"Are you sure? It would have had to been a very long time ago..."
It really wasn't that long ago.
I don't know if I should be offended that he doesn't remember me, or flattered that he's so shocked that he doesn't.
I'm back on the 4th floor of Printemps, a Parisian department store, where I took my first cooking class in November. Teaching the class is the same chef who had me blushing like a tomato and sweating like onions the first time around.
It's hot in the kitchen today too.
At one point I back away from the stove, fanning my face.
He looks over at me: "Are you hot over there?"
"Yes..." I answer...holding myself back from making any dirty jokes.
"Good," he says, sly grin, "I thought I was the only one."
I was dreamy, and also starving, throughout the whole cooking process. I missed out on some of the tips as I stared deeply into the mangoes caramelizing in front of me.
The menu for the day was rack of lamb breaded in a lemon and herb crust, fried zuchinni, and pastry with caramelized mangoes for dessert.
It was a nice escape from the dark drizzly sky outside. Everyone had a good sense of humour and a love for food.
The rack of lamb was a little heavy, and cooked by French standards-they like their meat bleeding-but everything was rich and tongue teasingly tasty. I rejoiced most in the soft pastry, a small vanilla cake, crusty on the outside, warm and tender on the inside. The soft insides, when eaten with the mangoes, were better than foreplay.
I left with a full belly, satisfied taste buds, and no phone number. At least he should remember me next time.
I spent the rest of the day wandering under the dark sky. I fell upon Pere Lachaise cemetery and wandered amongst the dead and famous. It was too grey and windy to be in a cemetery. You could feel death all around you. It was the kind of weather that burries your dreams and sinks into your soul. Not a good day to be in a cemetery. So I said "Hey" to Jim Morrison and kept walking.
I kept walking to find that no matter how lost I let myself get, I will always find my way in Paris.
Eventually I walked enough to lift some clouds from over my head, and took a winding bus back to my arrondissement.
I got off early and walked some more. I walked across the bridge to find the Eiffel tower sparkling its lights at me.
I smiled back at it and took myself home, a dream unburied, shining right in front of me.