Thursday 5 December 2019

Saturday service at the Hypnogogue

Chef sensei is in fine form today. Excruciatingly hungover, obsessed with his own fading youth and the moral edification of all employees at the land circle food dojo, he drops pearls of wisdom like they were confetti, asserts methods of work flow improvement that have only just crossed his mind as though they were time honoured traditions. Speaking to him I feel like novice Neo in the first matrix film, my ignorance matched only by my awe and complete respect. I am told to keep everything in the kitchen within 3 steps reach and 7 breaths contemplation. I ask him many questions when he is in this state. There is much I would know that he does not share unbidden. But on our 4th or 5th smoke break, as the dinner rush settles into a steady trickle of business, (Just enough to fuck up the fung shui of food prep, as he would say) the tenor and urgency of his advice shifts towards a differing tonal palate. Perhaps he is sobering up. Perhaps he has given up on my foolish ways. But it strikes me, as he  explains the plot of Enders Game in great detail for the third time this week, that there is a lesson for me here, somewhere in between the lines. And moments before I leave hope and return to my deep fryer, he turns his glazed, tired eyes my way and begins:

The world you see around you is like a shadow of the reality you exist in. The history you know, the stories you beleive about the past of your country, our city, of Parkside itself, is like a bad joke, accepted only as truth because it is the last thing anyone can remember being told. We speak of miracles and magic as though they were fairy tale metaphors, foggy dew through which our foremothers saw the natural world. When the truth you should be holding closest to yourself as you cower in wait of sleep is that miracles and magic are the very tools with, the raw materials from which all you see was forged and made real.

Chef sensei, what does this have to do with Enders Game?

Ha! A game indeed. From the flickering dust that you chase for your daily sustenance, to the folly of those who would think themselves mighty for keeping you in thrall, all of this is as a game played by ants on 2 square meters of land in the midst of a mighty jungle which is the fullness of our universe and the true limits of our perception. You have mastered the basic skills of prep, cleaning, service and brunch. It is time to prepare you for interdimensional travel.

Yes, chef sensei!

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