The Five Senses of Heaven

Sitting in my beloved next door neighbor and little sister restaurant with my equally beloved co-worker, I am reminded of our tendency to emote… glorify… bemuse… I can’t place the word… note at any rate, inspirational sounds that signify the existence of a fabulous evening surrounded by food, drink, and loved ones.
It is a list that has to be, by nature, ever-changing and somewhat elusive. There is simply no way to define life’s visceral pleasures from decade to decade in a fixed list. When I was seven years old, the most blissful sound was the plastic clack of my Transformers changing shape for the first time. Or the “beeeewwwwkchsssshhhh” of a Missile Command strike. At 13, it was the sound of Mike H.’s voice when he entered the room for Sunday night’s Youth Group meeting. At 22, the quick scratch of pencil on paper signing my first apartment lease did the trick.
But now I’m an adult (which by the way, I can officially say. When I was in my 20s I fought against that word by a series of “yeah but” justifications to keep my youthful, irresponsible status) and I have in the grand scheme of an 85 year-old life, knock wood, discovered new sounds. As an adult, those sounds change. They progress. They consist of things that a 13 year-old has never heard. The sound of the phone call to set up an interview. The sight of infatuation. The first taste of curry. The first touch of cashmere. The instigating moment a song that turns you onto a new genre and ideology. These are formative sense memories. I can pinpoint a person, place, age and month to almost every one of the aforementioned. They exist in the quilt of my being. Cut me open, my rings have patterns (and sound waves and recipes).
Today, at my *gulp* 34 years, my formative sounds, sights, smells, touches and tastes are these:
A champagne cork popping (the muffled pop of a refill, not a fresh bottle), the smell of pork simmering on the stove, the touch of his hand gripping mine as we walk down a buzzing city street in the snow, the taste of perfectly prepared sweetbreads and the sight of laughing friends I’ve known since I was 16, gathered around a table reliving old times.
Which if you’ll excuse me, is the sound of my Saturday night. Have a lovely weekend, friend.
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