this is my body

eating and drinking at the end of the world
by Jonah james fontela
I’ve eaten meals with X on four continents. Born in Africa and raised in the south of France, he enjoys a good meal. He fusses about the wine and when something isn’t right, it goes back. But it’s not only about the food and the drink. The conversation and the laughter, that thing the Irish call craic, are as important. It’s an elusive sense of going in the right direction, an enjoyment hard to describe but deeply felt. Gossip and ball-breaking, nostalgia and old jokes retold. There is a point in certain meals with X when I know he’s a happy man. It might be the lobster or the small skewers of meat, or it might be something else, something less tangible. The tumblers line up. On those days, without fail, he reaches into his pocket, the table covered in glasses and crumbs, and says. I got this. You know it was a good meal when X flips through his wallet and pays the bill, and it has nothing at all to do with money. This happened a few nights ago, on Copacabana Beach, where the warm wind off the water lifted the corners of our paper tablecloth and the red wine from Chile sent our heads drifting into the damp clouds above. There were shrimp, cooked in hot oil and garlic, their shells thin and crispy. We crunched through the heads and legs too, leaving only a pile of sharp razor tails. So plentiful were the grilled and charred meats that followed, we left some beef on the plate. An offering.    [Image: Prawn by Arthur Bartholomew, 1891]

I’ve eaten meals with X on four continents. Born in Africa and raised in the south of France, he enjoys a good meal. He fusses about the wine and when something isn’t right, it goes back. But it’s not only about the food and the drink. The conversation and the laughter, that thing the Irish call craic, are as important. It’s an elusive sense of going in the right direction, an enjoyment hard to describe but deeply felt. Gossip and ball-breaking, nostalgia and old jokes retold. There is a point in certain meals with X when I know he’s a happy man. It might be the lobster or the small skewers of meat, or it might be something else, something less tangible. The tumblers line up. On those days, without fail, he reaches into his pocket, the table covered in glasses and crumbs, and says. I got this. You know it was a good meal when X flips through his wallet and pays the bill, and it has nothing at all to do with money. This happened a few nights ago, on Copacabana Beach, where the warm wind off the water lifted the corners of our paper tablecloth and the red wine from Chile sent our heads drifting into the damp clouds above. There were shrimp, cooked in hot oil and garlic, their shells thin and crispy. We crunched through the heads and legs too, leaving only a pile of sharp razor tails. So plentiful were the grilled and charred meats that followed, we left some beef on the plate. An offering.   

[Image: Prawn by Arthur Bartholomew, 1891]

  1. m1nj1l1k3 reblogged this from cinoh
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    I’ve eaten meals with X on four continents. Born in Africa and raised in the south of France, he enjoys a good meal. He...
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