The Crave Essay: Please respect your dessert

Three young men, hunched, polished and silent, glance at the waiter and return to what they were doing.

The waiter does his job. A dish for each of the customers. One has meringue, another chocolate mousse and another trifle. I know this because I’m watching them. It’s rude of me, I know, but they’re not going to notice. Everyone in the restaurant could watch them and they wouldn’t notice.

So I keep watching. This is important. This matters.

One by one, the men reach for their spoons. They do it ever so well, not even needing to see where the spoon is on the table. Down the spoons go, sweeping through the desserts, coming back up and entering the three mouths, re-emerging clean.

The men swallow. They really are terribly skilled. The not looking at the spoon move was impressive, but the not looking at the dessert and avoiding spillage is extraordinary.

Perhaps their silence enhances their concentration. A silence borne of a falling out, maybe. After all, they didn’t speak when they sat down and not a word was said during the main course.

They don’t appear to be annoyed with one another though. I’m not sensing tension, and even if there was any the dessert would help ease it. Dessert can do that, particularly chocolate mousse and meringue, and dare I say, trifle too.

Evidently, the trifle eater agrees with me as his glass is nearly empty. His friends are keeping pace. Disciplined with it too, for not one has been tempted yet by the aesthetics of their dessert, or acknowledging the craft of the person beyond the kitchen door.

They’ve yet to be tempted either by the view of the harbour and the volcano in the distance, or the sun that is coming down. Boring old sun. Boring old harbour.

They’ve yet to be tempted by anything other than the thing they each have in front of them.

Identical in size and portrait, this thing has come first since it was escorted in and placed down on the table. Not far away, mind. Not on the other side of the table or a pocket. It must be close, within one’s space, within one’s reach, in sight at all times for if not, tragedy will fall; the tragedy of missing out.

Missing out on the hit of being someone that matters. Not to the person at one’s side, but to someone out there.

Someone out there sitting in another restaurant, at a table with other people, not looking at their spoon or their dessert, just at their thing, waiting… waiting… waiting…


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