A Bite into the Truth
The earth as it had been known to the gods for centuries had become old. It’s once mystic blue eyes started to become tainted with green, wrinkles pressed down the mountains that were the worlds knuckles, and a blanket of gray masked the skies where it once sang in crystalloid tunes.
As the earth’s breaths became softer and weakened, it managed a breath, looked to the gods and pleaded “Let there be one human, one born under my brother Jupiter, who contains the heart of corrupted but enlightened Zeus, and the stomach of a black abyss, to roam and find the hidden treasures all others have failed to. Let there be one human whose ambition isn’t to poison me, or shed blood on my skin, but whom will spend their life fulfilling what all others have missed.”
The gods had spent lifetimes infatuated with the earth. They had become so madly in love with the way the earth sung to them in the morning and kissed them goodnight, the way it flirted with them with by coming so close with its fingertips yet only grazing the clouds that homed the gods, the way it held their children in its arms for protection. The gods knew that they could do nothing but grant its dying wish.
So on a night where the air was thick with frozen songs and harmonies, under a moon that shone brighter than any other before it, Jupiter came down and placed on the fragile skin of the earth a child with the heart of Zeus, Jupiter’s fatherly thirst for adventure and importance, and the stomach of a black abyss. This is where my legend began, the day my destiny became the last igniting flame the earth pulsed through its veins. I am that child, and my purpose was to do what every other human had failed to do: taste all of the food that the earth had given.
* * *
The family I was ‘born’ into was small and contained, leaving me unaware in my first years of what I had been born to do. Every night I sat at the table in my house with my brothers and I would push my food around with my fork or aid my peas with an escape plan into my napkin. Little did I know I was under the influence that every other human in my lifetime was under: food.
Food was not the greatest treasure of life. My father cooked more than my mother did and I was left to eat the same New England food he was raised on. Green beans in a can drowning in water, sauces that were processed and forced into a pulp, and manly ground beef. It took me years to overcome these habits. I would waste food, erode my life meaning by sucking on lollipops and chewing bubblegum as I cleaned the kitchen with my brothers and threw away the scraps. I was kept away from grilled goods, deep fried amazements and honey mustard smothered meats for what felt like millenniums.
On one fateful night as I lay in my bed, the smells of temptation and desire lingered into my room and seduced me to follow them. In my kitchen there was a bag glowing, whispering my name to come closer. Carefully I approached it, and with clammy hands and trembling fingers I opened it. Inside there laid in the most beautiful display I had ever witnessed: golden fries married with salt. My virgin mouth had never watered before the way it did that fateful night and as I picked up the fry and slowly carried it to my mouth, as I took my first bite, the world shook with joy and the gods who had been watching me since my first breath shouted at the top of their lungs. Time froze, and before my eyes I saw Jupiter bring me to here, I heard in my novice ears the earth’s plea to have me walk among it and bring pride to what had been shamed. From that moment on I vowed to never again play with boring vegetables and plan escape routes, instead I would plan victories of wars in name of my true love.
Ever since that night I wasn’t able to keep my hands off of all the treasures that surrounded me. Every second that wasn’t occupied with the necessary things to survive in my life, revolved around plotting what things to mix in order to create such tastes I thought I might die and join my creators. My childhood was scorned with bland taste, repetitive meals served hot and cold. My soul cried out for justice, to bring more into my life. The days after I crammed my head through books with knowledge about the people before me who had failed, I ran to indulge in my secret affairs. She was the sweetest guilt I had ever known and the most honorable torture I could have dreamed of. Growing up a white household though deprived me of a lot of her riches, and I ached to have them under the impression that I never could any time soon.
My teenage years were far more different than those of my childhood. My mistress and I found several ways to please each other despite the distractions. The earth was eager to help us find our way to each other too, constantly showing me new things on innocent walks and lazy afternoons.
I was hopeless but to fall in love with food the way that the gods did with the earth. One day I was shown the sweetness of a honeysuckle, the next the sexual allure of a double fudge brownie. My insides were tickled with coffee crumble cake, the burst of a grape, or even the succulent arousal of chocolate covered strawberries. The relationship I had was young and naïve, but I would have been a fool to not think of it as true love granted by the gods themselves. Because it was.
I hit my lowest day not many years after I had lost my innocence and entered into high school. Food was there to comfort me, an everlasting reminder of my journey and purpose in life. I spent days sitting on a couch, shoveling in ice cream and chips until I didn’t recognize myself anymore. My lover didn’t take kindly to my habits then, and gave me cavities and pimples instead of a divorce.
In retaliation I did damage. I deep fried my pickles, I cried into the cheese of my nachos, I even dared to put extra whip cream on my afternoon pie. There was a moment after I had abused my lover once again and had fallen asleep afterwards, and it was then that Jupiter came down and entered my dreams to tell me that if I did not learn how to love and appreciate the relationship given to me, I would lose it and all of its blessings. I would ruin my purpose – I would shame my destiny and lose sight of my reasoning in this life. I would, just as everyone else had done, fail.
I took some time to mull this over. I had been given the stomach of a thousand men; I could eat for days and my lover would give herself to me over and over until I couldn’t move. Yet, I had been warned about the path I was taking. It took years until I was ending high school and moving onto college that I sat down and had a conversation with her that I had prepared myself for years prior to. I knew I could love her on her bad days, and that she would love me too, but I couldn’t abuse that. I had to grow up, I had to prove that I was worthy of this task. That was the day I threw out the parts of her she hated; my doughnuts, Cheetos, and cotton candy. Instead I decided to pay my attention to her more delicate parts. I decided that I would prove my worth to her and cut up some kiwi, spread cream cheese on a bagel, and apologized for my stupidity.
As the years moved on and the earth kept coughing and wheezing under my feet, I continued on my journey. It took me awhile to adjust to treating my lover the way she needed to be treated; tender, kind, and seasoned just right. I learned how to caress her, how to prepare battle against what others in the world knew. I experimented with salt and pepper, potatoes and sauces, keeping a journal of all the extraordinary things the world needed to show me. The more I followed along my journal the more the earth breathed sighs of relief. I listened to what it told me; I could make stews with the broth that could warm a frozen heart. I could prepare and bake a chicken with the same smells of desire and temptation that brought me to my sweetheart before. I stayed greedy too, and indulged in her guiltiest of pleasures with baking cakes and muffins. I explored her with handmade pasta and chicken wings. College was never an easy place to make a good meal, so I had taught myself to stay making love to my wife.
I had become content with where my life and destiny had gone. I had my lover by my side in any form I needed, I had the lessons that came along with it. There was nothing else I could have needed, at least I thought. Again as I slept in a slumber with her lips still lingering around my mouth, Jupiter visited me again. He told me I had done well, but that I had followed the heart of Zeus inside of me. I had tasted so much, but I had used the stomach of a black abyss that guided me. I now needed to tap into my soul, the child Sagittarius of Jupiter, and make myself important.
I began to study what my earlier thirst in life had brought me: the desire to do more than taste easy American foods. I spent hours abusing my eyes to learn every curve, crevice, and dip there was to my lover. To my pleasure and dismay, I came to learn of others who lived on the same earth yet did not have what I had. People would hunt for their meats once a week when I spent twenty minutes in the freezer section. I was baffled to discover that their lives revolved around such beauty in such different ways, as though they learned a difference dance than I. I had vowed to love the sweeter parts, but I could never imagine eating berries as the main category of my meal.
Through this discovery it was brought to my attention that the world, and my lover, was more different than I had ever imagined. She was so humble with others, she gave all that she could, and I would have been wrong to have asked her to give any more than she did.
The earth stretched out its arms and engulfed me, then gently placed me at the gates of the gods. They were pleased and told me that I could do more than what I was there to do. My real destiny was to study every form my sweetheart came in, study her, immerse myself in it in all her different forms, languages, and cultures, and bring it to my journey as the greatest journey ever lived.
Nitasha Embleton is currently studying Communications, but is waiting acceptance to continue her studies in the fields of Sociology and Anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is looking to graduate in the spring of 2017 and hopes to continue writing and publishing along with becoming a member of the world of Anthropology.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.