Crepuscule with Pie

February 15th, 2015, 1pm

Let’s cool one first with the P.S. as I ask you to play any favorite version of Thelonious Monk’s romantic tune, “Crepuscule with Nellie.” If you don’t know the song, here’s a gorgeous rendering from the bootleg session caught at Carnegie Hall with John Coltrane:

Enjoy reading along while the music plays, if you can

There was a moment last night when my friend and I were walking, oh…just a couple of blocks… back to the car after a lovely conversation and decadent treats in the shape of chocolate chess pie and bourbon caramel cake. So perhaps we were suffused with satiated gaiety, merrily traipsing as a technicolor sunset left a blood orange & crimson kiss to the night, perhaps we were already anointed with a pleasurable high, perhaps we were even happy.

It was a little after 7pm, to be exact, as Time had already made it known we were due elsewhere, as we are usually and always being summoned to places where we are not here, not now, but where we are told that someday we might arrive.

We had been sitting outside enjoying pie and Irish coffee, and a tea so redolent with bergamot and the cured leaves of tea that no Earl, no Duchess, not even a Queen nor King had enjoyed so satisfying a substance as we did ingesting that warming scent, that forkful of bourbon laced cake, this particular conversation of Baudelaire and Scheherazade’s ceaseless spinning of the music of her mind…thus relaxed and delighted, we crossed Division Street, and…

…the quiet gardens of twilight murmurs in the silent language of a perfumed day. We felt it on our skins like an ocean current, and as we strolled the fragrance of Spring unfurled an olfactory blanket of aromas. I looked around to see if there was Confederate Jasmine lurking, or an unknown blooming NW oddity beckoning the birds & bees to do its bidding, but we realized it was simply Spring doing that hoodoo thang. It had been a warm, sun-drenched day, and all around tender buds were swelling, the early blossomers (like the pendulous camellias next to my sister’s house) heavy with frills and the sensual density of a burning star, and the daffodils pushing up from the loamy earth, all of it had spent Valentine’s Day in a riot of fragrances, a pheromonal submission to give more, give it all, give, give, and offer to do the job of using the subterfuge of beauty to sing of the blood inside the green fuse that burns inside us each and everyone.

The night air was falling around our shoulders, yet there was a crisp sense to the air as if the air were reporting for duty and anxiously ready to decipher all that was beckoning, as if the day was processing the snapshots of her riot of flowers, as if each fragrance were transmitting its official count of the stars that were exploding inside its whorls and galaxies, as if for a moment…a brief moment…even the Dungeon Master of Cruelty named Time had paused and inhaled a whiff of this perfume that was simply called “Tonight” before luxuriously falling asleep into a Dream where we all get a second chance, where Time is so smitten by this perfume of a sunny day that Time decrees “let’s do it again,”

…but alas Time is just mumbling in his sleep and his command is unintelligible and said to no one so the film unspools while the night watchman pretends the fragrance is just the usual cost of doing business with contraband and pirates and it turns out there isn’t really a reason why people fall in love…even if the birds and the bees do it…we aren’t meant to be the astronomers of desire and measure the starlight emitted by flowers…or by our own bloody hearts pulsing to a samba beat of the tides, and the moon’s embrace, and the fury of the green fuse….

Or maybe it just means that I require more crepuscule with pie…

—@Lauretta Jean’s 2/14/15

P.S.S. The photo is from earlier on a Valentine’s Day excursion with family to The Rhododendron Garden, a lovely wetlands surrounding Crystal Springs Creek, near Reed College. The sensation of sunlight and mystery of the day’s traipsing about amidst almost blossoming flowers set the scent-sational aromas that greeted my friend and I at twilight, after devouring our decadent pie….

Ken, Adrian, David Wade, Christine and 1 more said thanks.

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Chris DeBarr

Chef who believes in eating the world to save it. Wine & language & sharp knives are the tools of my métier. At heart, I'm a warm & fuzzy Dadaist.

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