Letter of Intent

Dear Ma’am,

I am writing you this letter because I served you one Saturday night a few weeks back at Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails. I hope the recalling of this event elicits even the slightest smirk, for I know I gave you the most excellent service that evening. This memory resonated with me because I had never known someone so exact in their eating.

Initially I was put-off by your behavior, but as the night lingered I became even the more intrigued. You had explained to me forthright, “I only eat food of the same color.” But as the night advanced I realized the organization was much more thorough than that; textures were considered, and placement was valued. It seemed to me that you were tasting colors rather than flavor, a rare form of synesthesia. To compliment this irregularity, your appetizer: a salad, stripped of its garnishes, drizzled with green goddess dressing. The entrée: an 8 oz. filet embroidered by charred potatoes, with plenty of space between the two.

I suddenly became self-conscious of the thoughtless mixing of color in my wardrobe. Even considering just my facial hues — blue eyes with their dark trimming, pink lips outlined by a creamy yellow pigment; I hoped to not leave a bad taste in your mouth. I felt overwhelmed for you. God, we just place all those colors side by side huh, I mused, scanning the restaurant I’ve labored in for almost a year now. It did seem a little ridiculous — the orange candle snuggled against the black and white salt shakers on top of the table that had so many variants of brown in it I began to wonder if it was made from one tree or hundreds.

You had made the strangest remarks to me, yet they only seemed strange upon reflection, for your delivery was so intensely casual.

“Do you know how they decide whether a steak is Prime or Choice?”

“I suppose they evaluate the cow before slaughtering,” I responded.

“Right, it’s by color.” she said. “The brighter the meat, the higher the grade. No fixed standards exist though, and decisions vary not only from inspector to inspector but from day to day, depending on how that particular inspector feels. So if there was traffic that day, or they couldn’t find a parking spot, it affects how the meat in front of me is described.”

“Alright, well, I’ll be back in a little to check on you ma’am,” I responded in standard server inflection.

As I stood at the bar awaiting your martini, I felt a wave of guilt trickle down my spine upon recalling all the different colors I had allowed to mingle on my plate throughout the years. I realized that by mixing colors, you in some ways discredit them. I admit that I briefly romanticized your neurological disorder, but I was blanketed with sadness as I realized that our cocktails were just six colors blended together to make one. I wondered if you could taste each color or just the final product.

You may remember — for dessert I joined your allegiance. You wanted something with peanut butter and I managed something seemingly quite unmanageable. I sought for the creation of peanut butter nougat with a creamy, color corresponding, caramel sauce. The creation was marvelous and I felt honored presenting it to you in the midst of numerous other guests that didn’t understand the importance of your cuisine color scheme.

All this to say: upon your departure, you left a gracious tip as well as your business card, “Marie Richards,” followed by contact information in much smaller font. I have looked at your card many times in my server book, unknowing of why I had kept it for these many weeks. I’m embarrassed to admit, you have provoked a sort of paranoia within me. The blending of colors now seems rather overwhelming. I’d like to identify which ones to enjoy versus which ones to refuse. I am curious if you’d like to get lunch sometime and show me your ways — you know, a mentoring of sorts. I will not be offended if you deny my request; I realize how forward this must seem. Regardless of your response, please enjoy the free appetizer coupons I included in your envelope. We have a wonderful new menu that exhibits a charcuterie plate I think you’d really enjoy.

Warm Regards,

Erin Sterchi