the moon was full on October 24th, as I strolled over to at the Love off of 18th and Walnut St.
It was the perfect night to baptize this new culinary experience and set forth on reviving an old method of divination, through a new, more hearty medium: spaghetti.
While this blog is about a few things, such as mastering self- indulgence or facing the discomfort of asking for a table for one, it's moreso about the inner dialogue that unfolds through the senses and swirls up into the caverns of the imagination to produce practical insights.
But first, let me tell you about Pythia.
You see, Pythia was the oracle of Delphi who channeled Apollos prophecies. It is said that she got high from these fumes that traveled up to her face from the cracks in the earth and was guided to higher states of consciousness.
I think pleasure has a similar effect on the body; at least on mine. It relaxes my mind, and opens me up to receive truths that are blocked by stress, worry, anger, or guilt.
And spaghetti is my gateway-drug to pleasure.
So let me tell you what we're celebrating:
For one, I had just gotten fired from a toxic dayjob, and two, I just released a book I've been working on since 2016.
October 24th had been a big day, and I’m not gonna lie, while part of me sort of wished I was being wined and dined on such occasion, another part of me thought: ugh and have to talk?
Because when it comes to spaghetti, who’s got time for that, really.
I got to the Love 15 minutes early and was sat in this beautifully lit tangerine room.
To my left was what seemed to be a pleasant aunt with her impressionable niece, and to my right, what seemed like two coworkers who had been excommunicated from their workplace for shrilly, and repetitive, remarks.
The pendulum of my experience was already in full swing.
I nuzzled into my seat like I had no cares in the world, and feigned interest in the menu. It was all a show, as I knew exactly what the doctor had prescribed- and had known it for weeks prior: the Lobster spaghetti.
Lobster, as the tides of synchronicity lead me to find out ,is quite a lunar creature. With water being its primary element, it is associated with the cycles, regeneration, and protection. Lobsters grow in their shells, adding new layers and shedding old ones through a process called molting.
For the lobster, the shell is a reminder of its past.
It is no accident that the longer I anticipated my full moon crustacean, the more my mind drifted to my childhood.
Like most people, i don't frequent with lobsters too often. We may bump into each other at a fancy event or someones wedding, but that night it was different, it was a real date; and I was the one doing the asking.
As I dangled my earring to shoo away any feelings of awkwardness , memories of lobster filled occasions flooded my mind.
There was that one summer in Greece when I vacationed with my friends family on their boat, and her mom would make the most spectacular lobster spaghetti. I remember this especially vividly because said friend had a habit for embarrassing me by exclaiming to her whole family that I wanted seconds. This of course, was undoubtedly true, but still. Not classy. And to think she was the one with the money.
The second memory was from the few times my whole family would go to this seafood place on Sundays and order a big platter of lobster spaghetti for like 10, which I always thought looked divine to the eye, but needed a little more padding to the fork; if you know what I mean. (a box too short, imo)
As I waited for my trophy dinner to arrive, I imagined how regal my plate would look and how everyone would suspect me to be a very undercover, and under-dressed, food critic.
Yet when the long awaited bowl made its landing, my vision of glamour drowned in a puddle of underwhelm:
Where in Barilla’s name was the head?
How could I commune with this being, integrate its symbolic flesh into my own without seeing it, eye to eye?
I wallowed in this first world problem for a few minutes and then started to notice all the things that did feel right.
Like the way my teeth loved the snap and roll of the perfectly cooked noodles, or how the sauce was sweet and buttery, with an added touch of something i couldn't quite place, and didn't quite want to.
I twirled my lanky friends slowly and deliberately, trying to figure out why this head thing had such a hold on me.
And then it hit me; because it just wasn't the same.
I had chosen the lobster because I had yearned for a taste of the past. A familiar emblem of carefree times and group celebrations. It was the typical copy paste trick that the present moment doesn't always care for.
It all came full circle when I found out that the lobster can regenerate lost claws and legs. They can even voluntarily remove their own limbs if they feel danger (there’s nothing so effective as leaving a limb behind to distract a hungry predator). This behavior speaks of letting go and severing old beliefs and conceptions.
Maybe then I too had chosen to leave a part of myself behind. Maybe that night was not about relieving the memories of past life but creating a new way to celebrate who I am becoming in the wake of this city, and this new blog.
While the past is allowed to make impressions on us, it doesn't have to create hard line rules for our future. Who knows, maybe had i been given the actual head id also been given less of the spaghetti, and the preference there is an obvious one.
Also, it was in the moments of such leisurely inner dialoging that such tender bits of self awareness felt light enough to float up to the surface —- instead of thinking myself as immature or vain for desiring said crowning carcass, it took a second to see that all i simply desired was belonging; and having realized that, it was easier for me to not judge myself.
and now that I think bout it,
there was one more thing i very purposely left behind.
Ha. Cause comfort is queen,
ask any Priestess.
to a plate of our own,
*the pasta priestess*