is appetizing to me. Every food in every sub-group in each food category
is appetizing to me. There is not one dead animal that I have refused to
eat and no fermented or sometimes rotten food byproduct that I haven't tasted
and somehow managed to enjoy.
I love to cook elaborate meals, and I enjoy going out to restaurants where the seafood is fresh and the sauces are devoid of flour. I will be very saddened, and maybe even have a fit, if you serve the vegetables overcooked, the meat well-done, propose the cheese platter before dinner and cut them the wrong way.
I present a pretty picture of the glamorous French bon vivant gastronome - with my own restaurant to top it off. All seems quiet on the Western Front.
But if you have me as an overnight guest beware. Oh, I will just have a little fruit for dessert. And I do sincerely mean it. Until 3:00 AM.
Now, everyone is asleep. I open the door to my room very carefully, and without any noise, go down the stairs. I can't stand old houses with cracking parquets and staircases. I grew up in one, and my mother always knew my comings and goings.
There I am, a little breathless at the threshold of someone else's kitchen -- the ultimate thrill. Still in the dark, I open their fridge, an un-chartered fridge. (I can tell so much about my friends from what they have in their fridgebut that's for another Papotage.) The night raids on the kitchen have their theatrics. Lighting is everything. It has to be dark, with only the light of the refrigerator on.
The inside of the fridge is glowing, like a beacon of hope, a heaven of comfort. The products and produce inside all become alive, and you can grab anything and everything you want. There is no one to stop you, as long as you just keep quiet. Look at the bread & butter pickles in the jar. Their green says crunch.The ketchup screams red. And the mayo ís yellow is all about mellow.
Oh, shit! Someone just opened a door upstairs. Quick, put everything back in! Close the door! Delicately. Now, out of the kitchen! Pretend youíre looking at the moon. Oh, there is no moon. Wait! The steps are going in the opposite direction. Yes. Probably towards the bathroom. Phew. The coast is clear again. Back to the fridge. Round two.
There is no methodology about bingeing at night, it's all about streams of gluttony, about finishing a whole jar of blueberry preserve with a pint of heavy cream while chomping on a drumstick slathered with mayonnaise followed by cold mashed potato leftovers with ketchup and applesauce. This is the time when Spam takes the place of foie gras and Miracle Whip is the Queen of the Night.
Eventually, there comes the point when there is no more room for anything. It's my biological time to stop. Time to clean up the mess of this crime scene. Time to quietly head back to bed.
But there is one little problem left. How does one fall asleep stuffed with all that food? One way is sitting in bed, propped up by pillows. Another is to keep getting out of bed through the night just to burp with the company of Divine's ghost. (She kicked the bucket in her sleep under similar conditions.)
"Bacon and eggs for breakfast?"
"No, thanks. I eat light for breakfast. I will just have tea and a fruit."
Dr. Jekyll looks awfully pretty in the morning light, but will there ever be a way for him to rid himself of Mr. Hyde's gluttonous grip?
Another night. Another hallway. I walk slowly down the corridor and very carefully open the last door. There must be fifteen steps from the door to the table, and I manage each one, quietly. When I finally reach my destination, I find a chair to sit in. Only this time, the light is on, and I am not alone. And I keep my mouth closed until it is my turn to speak.
"Hi, my name is Florent, and I am a compulsive overeater."
But how will I even begin to explain this to my French family.