I went to a food and wine event last night. Beer, gin, and sake snuck into the party as well—sake is becoming cool. Craft sake. Craft sake bombs, anyone? It’s the next craft cider. Put the word “craft” in front of anything and it will taste better. While I was there I blew my nose and ended up with an organic “Craft Nosebleed.”
This event was sponsored by Audi, and the attendees were mostly important people over the age of fifty. We talked about tannins and soil and grapes and laughed a little too loudly about legs. We were kings and queens, snacking on wild mushroom crisps and sipping tastes from $120 bottles of wine. This was fun, but it was also stressful. We had four hours to make sure that we were going to get our money’s worth. I paid a $50 entrance fee, and dammit, I was going to win the economics game. To ensure that I consumed more than $50 worth, I laid out a careful plan: I would walk under the very large event tent, and go up to each and every one of the fifty vendors, and just…keep freaking…going back and eating and drinking until a) everyone left, or b) …see a).
We paid no attention to what order things ought to be eaten. I destroyed a dark chocolate mousse with raspberry mint compote, washed that down with the best and only smoked s’more coconut-milk ice cream that I’ve ever had, sampled a double IPA from New York, had two bites of a pork belly bruschetta on horribly stale bread, threw away the rest because I could. Lamb and lentils, red wine, pumpkin thing, red wine, red wine, cracker with stuff on it, red wine, sake.
We arrived at 5 p.m., and by 8:30 p.m., the vendors were packing up, my friends and I were smiling at each other with merlot teeth, and I began collecting free hats. We left the event, went back to Somerville, and we were still hungry. We stopped at Anna’s for a burrito, because no matter how good the food is, you always get hungry again.
I woke the next day with five hats, a significant headache, and the King’s Disease: Gout. The food was so rich, so dense. And whoever said not to mix alcohol is a real idiot. I had samples of prosecco, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, pinot noir, red blends, cider, beer, sake, gin, and I felt fine! And by fine, I mean I have Gout, the King’s Disease. (See: Gout.)
In Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Barbossa is talking to Elizabeth Turner about the curse that he and his men are under after stealing Aztec gold pieces and spending them: “The more we gave ’em away, the more we came to realize the drink would not satisfy, food turned to ash in our mouths, and all the pleasurable company in the world could not slake our lust. We are cursed men, Miss Turner. Compelled by greed, we were, but now we are consumed by it.”
Status, worth, money, comparison, stuff. This is creeping into my life, slowly trying to elbow its way to prominence. I went to IKEA and I wanted the kitchens. I wanted the lights and the fold-up stuff and Blamenkrogs and Drumeqorks. I went to a car dealer because my Golf is being forced into early retirement and I wanted a brand new car. I wanted the nice ones. I’ll just pay for this car, and I’ll stay in this job and keep paying for this car until it’s paid for and then I can take on another payment for another thing and get more stuff and keep this up until I die. “Compelled by greed, we were, but now we are consumed by it.” Being in the world and not of the world is turning out to be a challenging command.
At this event, I’m looking at these people who are drinking the same wine and eating the same gazpacho, and I feel like the younger version of them. I wonder if they care about problems in the world, or if they’ve become too jaded and have thrown their hands up and said why bother? I wonder if they’ve helped someone only to have someone else knock on their door. I’m looking at people my age and I don’t know what’s different about us. I used to think that being in the world and not of it meant that I would literally glow, or something fantastical. That people would say all the time, “There’s something different about you!” Because I’ve heard stories.
But I don’t know.
I buy; I want more. I get; I want more. I eat; I am still hungry.
Bart Tocci (’11) lives in Boston where he writes essays, performs at open mics, and threatens to start taco restaurants. He’s been told that he looks like the kind of guy who stands up for what’s right. And who goes to the store before the party. Read more here: barttocci.wordpress.com