We have one life to live. And then we die.
What happens after that is up to debate, but that thought has haunted me since I was barely out of diapers. In kindergarten I learned the earth is spinning and it blew my mind. In the first grade someone told me if the sun exploded, we would be ignorant for 7 minutes before we knew of our doom. As a second grader, I couldn’t sleep at night because I was trying to figure out the whole heaven thing. My mom told me she didn’t know the answer to a lot of my questions. And that freaked me out.
So, one life to live and then it’s over. Through the years I’ve pondered how we only get one family. One childhood. One romp through our teens and twenties and on.
What does this have to do with videos about food?
1. Pure Pleasure
In the light of my mortality and the finality of our choices, I’ve found solace in the purity of a good meal. A good bite, even. No matter what is going on in my life. No matter what shitty choices I’ve made, or what horrible events are happening in the world, this gyro sandwich is delicious. When I eat a slice of crunchy bacon, it is a soothing balm to the bumps and scratches this world has inflicted on my soul.
2. Universal Pleasure
Any person from any culture can appreciate a good meal. There are foods that, no matter what country you’re from, you will thoroughly enjoy. Who can say no to Korean barbecue? A juicy t-bone? How about the simple luxury of an over easy egg on toast? Even most vegetarians and vegans will acknowledge that while they choose not to eat bacon, it tastes damn good.
3. Temporary Pleasure
Every meal lasts a few minutes and then it’s gone, never to be repeated again. It’s an echo of our lives – a mirror to reality and a visual metaphor of the law of entropy. That first bite of fatty tuna that I had in Tokyo? Gone forever.
4. Painful Pleasure
Not painful, but “Laborious” doesn’t fit as well. I’m acutely aware that, when I visit a restaurant, the heart and soul of the cook has been put into the food. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hot dog or a 14 hour brisket. So much work and thought goes into even the simplist of dishes, that I marvel at the effort. It’s with deep gratitude I enjoy my meals, and I often want to thank the chef that made it.
Next post: Why am I obsessed with telling stories?