An Organic Experience
I had deprived myself for so long. Night after night, month after month, I did not give into the pleasure. I could ruin the lives of many if I gave into this from which I was now forbidden. Would I even be able to live with myself, knowing the decision I was about to make was far from healthy? This was it though, tonight I refused to deny myself any longer. I was simply sitting and thinking of another woman partaking of what I wanted so desperately. If even my mouth could have been put in the place of hers for just a few seconds, I could know happiness again… I would be content. But that couldn’t happen and rage finally replaced the longing. I had to have my tongue taste sweetness. I wanted to feel the smoothness, and inhale the intoxicating scents deeply. If doing so were only appropriate. I didn’t care anymore. I was going to make it appropriate.
I grabbed my keys and stormed out of the house. The drive was a blur, the song on the radio could have been loud static and I wouldn’t have known. Nothing mattered to me now but getting what I wanted. What I needed. Everything would be okay in a few more minutes. Ten to be exact, that’s how long it would take to get there. My mind was racing, and I felt feverish with anxiety. Was this really about to happen? I never do anything like this. I’m never one to rock the boat; I follow rules and expect others to as well. What would people think of me when the rumors started to circulate? Would I even live to hear anyone’s opinion? I had been warned not to do this – practically threatened. I may end up dying tonight. I had already come to terms with this fact.
I made it. I was finally back where I wanted to be. I threw the car in park and with shaking hands, removed my keys from the ignition and pulled the door handle. I slammed the car door and didn’t even take the time to lock. I ran through the front door. My eyes scanned the room and then I gasped. Two eyes were on me, looking at me as if I was a deranged fool. Maybe I was foolish, or even a little deranged, but I had been pushed to my limit. I ran those last few feet that separated us, and now within just mere inches was the antidote to my insanity. I passionately threw myself forward, not knowing if my enthusiasm would be matched… It wasn’t.
The lack of reciprocal lust did not bother me. I mean, it was a chocolate bar after all. What? You didn’t think I was talking about something else, did you? Actually, it was box after box of organic chocolate bars at my local health food store.
I think by now, everyone knows my numerous allergies. It’s been well over a year since I was given the results of my allergy test. Along with peanuts, milk, and corn, chocolate was listed as something I should avoid. Now any one of those four is bad enough by itself, but since I had to stay away from all of them, it was really tough to find a dessert I could eat. Well, let me rephrase that. It was tough to find a dessert I could eat without getting extremely sick to my stomach or dying. I once enjoyed cheesecake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, tiramisu, and crème brûlée. I couldn’t even taste one of these now without a risk.
I was sitting on the couch tonight after dinner and I was craving something sweet, but more importantly, something closer to what I used to enjoy. I was tired of eating graham crackers or ginger snaps. Foods like that did not satisfy my sweet teeth. That’s right, I said teeth. I had more than one sweet tooth and all of them had been neglected. My husband tried to help by giving me this suggestion, “Babe, we have pita bread, why don’t you drizzle some honey on that or on some rice crackers?” Yeah, that was the last straw. Something inside my head snapped, I couldn’t take it anymore. It had been too long since I had a real dessert. I was tired of making creamy indulgent desserts for everyone else, and I couldn’t even taste test them. Um… The desserts, not the people. I didn’t have any problem licking people, unless they were dipped in chocolate or coated in melted butter.
Sure, being a trained chef, I tried my best to make alternatives for myself. I baked chocolate chipless cookies. They just weren’t as enjoyable without butter and of course the chocolate chips. I searched all over the specialty food stores and online for carob chips. Carob is to chocolate what Yoo-Hoo is to flavored milk – it’s not the most satisfying, but it works if you’re desperate. Every bag of carob chips I found contained a corn product, so I had to leave chips of any kind out altogether. I also made a tofu cheesecake. I told myself at first that it was very good, but by next day it started to break down into a puddle of greasy goo. I had to admit it was so far from real cheesecake; it couldn’t even see the real stuff at the other end of the spectrum. It was like having to eat a veggie burger when what was really wanted was a thick juicy steak wrapped in bacon. So for over a year now, the health food store has gladly taken my money as I bought one alternative ingredient after another.
I gave them more money tonight, but this time it was for something that would be instant gratification. No mixing, no extra ingredients, and no baking would be required. I bought two organic dark chocolate bars (I can’t eat milk chocolate because of all of the milk in it), and a bag of organic dark chocolate chips. I paid and quickly drove back home. I washed my hands and grabbed the chocolate bar that had dried cherries mixed into it. I stood in my kitchen and once again read the ingredients. I knew I was taking the risk with chocolate, but the last ingredient was whole milk powder. The fact that it was listed last meant it was a small amount, but it was still milk and I am still very allergic to it. So the chance of having some kind of negative reaction was very high.
I knew I was being negligent by doing this, but I was only going to eat a very small piece and I had my epi-pen on standby. I removed the paper sleeve from around the bar and peeled away part of the thin gold foil. I broke off a piece about half an inch wide and three quarters of an inch long. I placed the rest on the counter, leaned back against the cabinet, took a deep breath and said a prayer.
Just in case I did have an allergic reaction, (which would keep me from ever trying this again) I set out to savor every molecule of this tiny piece of chocolate. First I held it to my nose and breathed deeply… Aaaah. That was awesome. On to the best and highly anticipated part… The taste. I gently bit a tiny corner off of the chocolate and let it come to rest on the center of my tongue. Immediately my taste buds were flooded with pleasure. The sweetness from the sugar and the slight bitterness of the dark cacao mingled together and created something I couldn’t even label. I’ll just say, if beauty had a flavor, it would taste like this chocolate. The mouth feel was that of silk and cashmere. My mouth watered and my mind was taken aback. I went weak in the knees a little. I continued to lean back against the cabinet and kissed the melted chocolate off the fingertips of my right hand. Then traded hands and took care of the chocolate on my left hand. I continued to go slowly back and forth – right then left again – all the while breathing in the sweet scent. At one point, I think I started to sway rhythmically from side to side, and felt like I could giggle or start crying. The whole experience was a little overwhelming.
There was a small morsel remaining and I put it in my mouth and closed my eyes. This piece contained a bit of dried cherry and the tartness awakened my taste buds from their drunk-like state. My mouth was still watering and I could have easily grabbed the bar off the counter and devoured it, but I had to wait. I wanted to make sure my throat wasn’t going to close or I wasn’t going to start itching all over. In the past before I knew about my allergies, chocolate made my throat itch a little, but nothing major. The trouble with abstaining from an allergen for a long time is the longer the time since the last exposure, the worse the reaction can be.
I waited about ten minutes. My throat felt slightly affected but nothing major. I could still breathe and swallow just fine. So I had done it; I threw caution to the wind for about the first time ever in my life, and I didn’t die! How exhilarating! I revisited that lonely chocolate bar that still sat there on my kitchen counter, and I stripped the foil a little more and took a passionate bite that would rival that in any of the recent vampire romance novels. Maybe it was a good thing that I stopped eating chocolate for so long. I know I appreciated it more this time, and enjoyed it more than I probably had in the past. That’s saying a lot because I really enjoyed chocolate in the past… Immensely… A bunch… Really, truly, a lot.