Dessert, Brown Gravy And The Folly Of Saving The Best For Last

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Photo By James Lee

Craig note- Be careful thinking you have all the time in the world to reach your dreams.

On The Best Part Of Dinner And Life


I am not a big dessert-eating guy. My wife makes super dinners. She does usually put some fruit into a little bowl for our after dinner treat. But, it’s not exactly the same thing as eating chocolate cheesecake.

It does keep me passing health checks. So, there is that.

There was a quote I read years ago about life. To paraphrase, the author of the quote laments in life, “All the desserts come first. At the end, illness, disease, and death await everyone.”

It was not the most uplifting quote I had ever read in my life. But, I could not help, but agree with it. It got me wondering what part of this meal we call “life” I am on at this moment in Japan.

The appetizer?

Unlikely. I am a little long in the tooth for that.

The main course?

Perhaps. I have been at the table of life long enough to have partaken of it.

The dessert?

I hope not. But, the thought crosses my mind every time I have a close encounter with a car, scooter, or bicycle as I go to work in the morning.

In the end, I don’t know where I am at in my life (dinner) course. Recently, I have felt like I am not even (eating) living. Well, I am (eating) living, but I am not getting full. My daily life is mundane.

Seriously, this month my boring, drone-like existence makes a broken record seem hip. Worse, I get these daily flashbacks from some of my Social Media. I can see was doing last year, two years, and in some cases even ten years ago on any given day.

It’s cool to relive old memories. But, it bums me out sometimes to see my life is much like it has been for the last 13 plus years in Japan.

Nothing changes.

Well, except for one thing.

I see an old man forming right before my eyes in the pictures (and in the mirror). Too, I see family and friends getting older. In some cases, people I once saw as young are now dead.

I wonder if I am unwillingly running straight toward that same final curtain.

And, you know what?

I am.

Slightly off topic.

I eat my meals one thing at a time. I start by eating the thing I like the least. I do this until I get to my favorite thing on my plate, and I eat that as slowly as I can.

There is something about ending every meal with the taste of my favorite thing in my mouth that helps me to enjoy it more. But, I have not always been that way.

When I was a boy, there was a dinner party I went to with my family. There was food and drink everywhere. I put tons of yummy dishes on my plate. I piled the mashed potatoes as I high as they would go.

I slathered some brown gravy all over them. I sat down at the table next to my beloved mother, and I put a huge spoonful of mashed potatoes and gravy in my mouth. It was terrible.

I made a tiny social boo-boo by spitting it out on my plate and the on the table. I used my napkin to scrub the remaining gravy off my tongue. And; for good measure, I blurted out, “This gravy sucks! Who made this crap?”

An older woman, who I did not know, slumped down in her chair. I flew out of my shoes with a lot of help from my beloved mother two hands. She dragged me outside, and; well, it was the early 1980s. Discipline came quick, fast, and in a hurry from most parents. I assure you my beloved mother was no exception.

It got ugly.

To this day, I will not eat brown gravy. It is the only food that I refuse to eat. Funny enough, we returned home that evening, and I overheard my step-father tell my beloved mother, “Craig was right. That brown gravy really did suck.”

That was like the only thing my step-father and I ever agreed on in our lives.

Sometimes, there is a lot of “brown gravy” that comes on a person’s plate and in their lives. And, the older I get the more “brown gravy” I see pooling on my dish.

Certainly, at 42, I am able to “eat” other things. But, I know one day “brown gravy” will be the only thing left for me to dine upon as my life feast comes to its end.

Perhaps, it’s time to eat more:

“Dessert first.”

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

“Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table.”- William Powell

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Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”

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