Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lavender Confit

Later we lay lavishly across the bed, looking down at the waves splashing against the shore.

“We should go walk along the beach at some point,” she remarked.

“Maybe. Would you mind going shopping? We could check out the little shops down the hill.”

“I don’t want to buy things my mother might like.” Her mother had been impressed by the small arrangement of shops in the plantation.

“Don't worry, we don’t have to buy anything. We can just entertain ourselves between now and dinner.”

We smiled at each other, knowing full well that we could find many ways to entertain ourselves between now and dinner, in truth.

“Let’s go have a look.”

Somehow we found our clothes, while having the types of girly chats you would expect. “I forgot my lotion…try this…have you…did you...have you heard…have you talked to…what about…” It was the peaceful inane girl-chatter of two deep friends, two women in love, a discussion of life, love and gossip. We talked about our friends near and far, the ones we'd lost, the ones we still held dear. We talked about our men. We discussed America and life and the future, all the while finding clothes, adjusting breasts and bodies, placing our flesh into the entrapment of female body armor, and then we pleasantly, arm in arm, wended down to the shuttle area to go to the shops.

The shuttle was at the end of a rather long walk, yet we discussed just walking back as a way to get some movement if it wasn’t too far, though by the way the shuttle twisted and turned it seemed like it might be a rather long walk. We chose to wait until we got to the shops and make our decision then.

We wandered in and out of the line of little shops. Inside the shops, we poked about at clothes and looked at all the tourist things. “I want to get something for my boy," I said. "He likes shirts.” However, all the interesting and clever shirts I found were mostly designed so that the print was on the back.

“You know, the print needs to be on the front; he is not a back-print kind of guy.”

“You really do have to be a back-print person.”

“There are people who can wear back prints and people who can't. He is not a back-print kind of guy. Who is, though? I’ve never understood back prints.”

“It’s a thing around here.”

Indeed it was, for every single shirt we looked at had a back print, which I found rather annoying. We amused ourselves by looking at things, going into the clothing shops and browsing the sales racks, and trying on clothes together. I finally decided on a single piece. Then we found ourselves in the local trade store, for lack of a better word: a place for travelers to get groceries, local products, knick-knacks and kitsch.

“We are getting some of that cheese.” The cheese fridge looked awesome and I wanted some.

As we kept going around and around the shop we started talking about our afternoon. While our breakfast was substantial, we were both hungry for something like a lunch, and it was close to two. We finally decided to buy cheese, crackers, caviar, and a cheese knife.

“I want to get you something,” the Artist said.

“But all these things are too big; I didn’t bring much in my suitcase.”

“I still want to get you something.”

After some puttering about we decided on the cheese knife, which she picked out for me. It was a cute little seahorse with a starfish dangling off of it. From there we found ourselves in line for the goat cheese we wanted, but after about three minutes of being annoyed and frustrated with the wait staff, who curtly said to me, “As you can see we are very busy, and there is a line over there,” just after I had watched another person get served from the same location, we decided to adjourn to the porch and have a seat. From where we ordered a few nibbles: cheese for me and a beet salad for her, along with wine (of course) and the cheese I had wanted out of the fridge, which our lovely waitress put behind the counter for us.

“What is on this cheese plate you're getting?” She asked me again.

“A couple of different cheeses, some grapes, and something called lavender confit.”

“Okay, I’m very interested in the lavender confit.”

“I have no idea; we shall have to try it and see.”

We sat and took pictures of each other, and our foods, and finallyafter much picture takingactually managed to eat.

“Okay, that” I pointed at the lavender confit. “That is fucking amazing.”

“I knew it would be good.” She dug in and had some on toast.

“Oh my god.”

“I know, right?”

The lavender confit tasted as I imagined the ambrosia of the gods must taste. It had earthy notes of honey that somehow managed to ground it in reality, but then it floated up, sitting on your tongue, bringing together tart and sweet and then transcending upward, with the high floral note of lavender lingering on your tongue to finish. It felt like flowers and honey and sunshine blended together and as we tried to hold onto the experience, savoring this little pot of confit on all the things on our plates, it was finally declared that it would be good on anything.

“I do believe that this would be good on anything,” declared the Artist.

“I agree.”

“I want to smear you in this and eat it off your naked body.”

“We should see if they sell some.”

We asked the waitress, and were disappointed to learn that, while very popular, the shop was not making the confit for sale, or at least, had not begun to jar it, although there had been some discussion of doing so in the future. There was some small pouting by the Artist, and while she was subtle, it was easy for me to see she was a bit disappointed. The waitress apologized again and then popped off, and when she returned she smiled as she triumphantly placed a little plastic to go cup of lavender confit in-front of me.

“I asked if they could just give us a little extra to go; there honey, now you enjoy that.”

The Artist smiled wickedly at me.

“I’m sure we will.”

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