one bite at a time
If anything can shake my world up it’s crême brulée. I slide my spoon into it’s custard centre and lift it up to my mouth. My mother’s spoon digs in beside mine and lifts up a small piece.
We eat in silence and exchange smiles. Our spoons lift and drop religiously into our sacred dessert.
We're sitting in an Italian restaurant in Toronto's Little Italy, and the chef has insisted we have crême brulée, regardless of how full we are.
I can remember almost every crême brulée I’ve ever eaten. I remember a night where my mother and I couldn’t sleep, both restless at around two in the morning in our old country house in France. We tore open a package from the fridge, stuck our store bought crême brulées in the oven and under the broiler, and tasted late night ecstasy.
And while it’s always been hard to steal my heart, I couldn’t but fall for the young musician with dark locks, who worked as a sous-chef in our small town. One night I was walking the small cobblestone road to the statue on the hill to watch the sun set. I had a book and my camera with me. I passed by the back doors of the restaurant where he sat outside with the other cooks, and my friend, the dishwasher. In checkered pants and a white button-up shirt he grinned and asked whether he could heat himself up a crême brulée. Everything about him seemed excited and passionate. This must have what persuaded me to get him into my life, into my bed, and why I still have trouble getting him out of my head.
I’m a sensualist and I like other sensualists. If it weren’t for the pleasures of food, fashion, music and touch I would be a lifeless creature. If I couldn’t dress up every morning, paint my face, blast Ray Charles and eat something sweet, getting out of bed would be an effort.
As I grow older my passions become more and more clear. I have recently made the decision to switch into a more design-orientated program than journalism. I’m aiming for fashion communications so I can focus in on fashion journalism and bring my true interests to life.
I was afraid to tell my mother, the writer, about my motive to leave. I have always wanted to be the intellectual my mother is, to be the literate writer she raised me to be. But, as she often tells me, I am my own person.
In elementary school I took part in a club called Night of the Nobles, where every member had to take on someone famous, portray them and dress as them. My mother pushed me to be Beatrix Potter, a writer, or a dancer. Instead I put on a glitzy gold dress and went as Marilyn Monroe. Surprise.
I tell her this over dinner and she understands. I am who I am. I like what I like. I like writing, but it is not my life, and I can't digest the news well enough to pursue that stream of journalism.
Maybe I'm addicted to change. Maybe I'm young and don't know what I want. But life is too short not to eat crême brulée once and a while and taste what life has to offer.