Friday 13 December 2019

the formula revealed

Everyday I awake with the tight vice of anxiety clenched around my heart. What will today bring? The first thoughts to drift into consciousness fill me with dread. I can barely eat, my pants are falling off of my waist, calories leach out of me in flop sweat as I anticipate the trials and abuse awaiting me at the Land Circle.

Chef sensei talks about death a lot. When he gets on a tear about philosophy, he always prefaces it with an old chestnut about Socrates preparing for death. He laughs at our culture's aversion to and avoidance of discussing death. He insists on pushing his body and his mind to their limits on a regular basis so that he is constantly aware of the immanence of death, the inevitability of death, encourages me towards an acceptance of death.

The real joke, he says, is not that you people try and separate life from death, to live life out from under its shadow, but that death is still considered to be the ultimate mystery, the final enlightenment...

Here he trailed off, nodding slightly and staring upwards at nothing in particular.

What do you mean, Chef Sensei?

A full ten seconds passed before I had his focus again.

Haha! Impetuous fool. Death is no mystery. It is the end of life, the majestic sleep. Can you not think of any part of your life that has taught you how to die bravely and properly?

Heartache, perhaps? I ventured.

At this, Chef Sensei belly laughed heartily for several minutes before smacking me upside the head.

Try again! Think of Nastradamus....

..."I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death"?

Precisely. Perhaps death's cousin has something to teach you. Perhaps Somnia Hypnogogis has been trying to send you a message every night of your life, hmmmm

This, for the chef-S, was a rather upfront statement. Death, interdimensional travel, hypnogogic "go-ing to" sleep states.... He was laying out his plans for me in a far clearer way than how he had trained me to flip eggs, or manage prepping during service. And just as I was starting to think I could wrap my mind around what he had in store, Chef Sensei at that moment stopped speaking to me in prose English, and for the coming weeks would only repeat the following words, in various (though not, as I would ultimately discover, random) orderings:














No comments:

Post a Comment