Montag, 10. September 2007

Blind Dining

My life saving grip was pulling back on the shoulder of our blind waiter, Constanza. While she was swiftly gliding in the total darkness to table 26, I was doing a hesitant, insecure shuffle.

She placed my hands on the back of a wooden chair. Helplessly standing there, I listened to the German banter of other diners and tried to paint a visual of the room. I imagined an upside down scalene triangle, and our table was at the base.

I took a seat, slid my purse under the table, kicked off my shoes, and folded my legs Indian style on the chair. I found comfort and security in my regular dining routine.

My hands danced around the table, springing off the fork tines and relaxing in the basin of my soup spoon.

My eyes, straining to see a glimmer of light or a faint shape, realized they were useless and surrendered with a final closing blink.

I was completely dependent on the staff of Nocti Vagus (the finest blind man restaurant in Berlin).

Salad, soup, pasta, and an almond mouse enlightened my senses. After attempting to stab a grape tomato for what felt like ages, I tossed the silverware to the side and let my 10 finger spies get to work. By feeling the shape and consistency, I was able to register a rough understanding of what I would be putting in my mouth. And once it entered, my taste buds were ignited. Parmesan, dill, cream, paprika, sweetness and many other flavors I could not articulate brought me to life.

Our conversation was a collision course in midair. Filled with excitement and unsure of when a thought would end, it was a rapid fire of unparalleled ideas.

Though I could not see anything, I have the most crystal clear memory of the evening. We let it all hang out, quite literally.