Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Perfect Date

“I’ll tell you how to spend the perfect Friday night,” Bill said.

The three of us had been sitting in the cafeteria milling over options on how to spend the evening. We had just finished a late afternoon class in which Bill had been teaching, and now slouched lazily on the cafeteria couches in a post class stupor, gazing at an imaginary center hovering a few feet above the floor between the three of us. Although we were all from different generations, we shared something deep in common. The three of us were Pisces, and we all agreed that Friday night was best spent in the company of a woman you loved.

“Yeah," Bill said still gazing at the imaginary center. “The best way to spend a Friday night is cooking with your girl." He leaned forward while his vision gained intensity. “But if you really want to score big, you have to bake a pie." His eyes widened when he said the word pie. “Not just any pie...Apple Pie!” His eyes widened again.

Jimmy and I shifted our gaze towards Bill who was still staring at the imaginary center, but obviously drifting off into another universe as he so often did. This one revolved around baking apple pie from scratch and women.

“First, you have to gather fresh ingredients. Fresh apples are key! You also have to use real butter. Not this imitation crap!” He looked momentarily disgusted. “Then you add cinnamon, etc. See, you gather all the ingredients, and have it ready: the apples, the flour. But you don’t make the pie. You let the woman make the pie. You just help out and talk to them - listen. See, women love to cook and they love to talk. The kitchen is the perfect place for this. But even more so, woman love to bake pie!” His eyes widened again with the word “pie."

Jimmy and I fixed our gaze once again into the imaginary center, which now had become kitchen.

“And after the pie is finished, you put it on the counter to let it cool. That’s key! The smell of the crust and the apples and cinnamon filling the room. Good god!” Bill collapsed back into the couch as if the image might be too much to bear.

After pausing for a moment, he continued: “Then you share a glass of wine…talk some more, connect… and the pie...” He rolled his eyes up towards the ceiling for a moment, and drifted deeper into “pie universe," as did we. He was now at the helm of the “Pie-Ship Enterprise” with me and Jimmy as his eager passengers.

“See…” He slowly leaned forward once again as if gearing up to reveal some critical piece of information that might one day save our lives, and proclaimed, “You serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!”

“Oh yeah!” Jimmy and I chorused in unison with big slobbering grins on our faces.

“Vanilla ice cream is key! You put a scoop on that fresh piece of warm pie and share that first bite with your lady friend, and…. good god!” He collapsed back into the couch once again. “Then they’re yours forever!”

We all sighed in unison as if we had just made intense love with god, our gazes again fixed towards the imaginary center.

After a moment of silence spent drifting in Bill’s universe of apple pie and the perfect date, I broke the silence with a suggestion to him that he might substitute walnuts, coconut, and raisins for wheat and butter when making the pie’s crust. “It’s amazing,” I said with an unsure enthusiasm. “You don’t even have to bake the crust. You can make it raw!”
Bill shifted his gaze from the imaginary center and looked straight into my soul with his mysterious watery blue eyes. Leaning forward with one eyebrow raised in patient skepticism towards his obviously “green” pupil, he replied: “I’ll believe that when I taste it!”

William Engelhardt, ND Student
January 26, 2007, from a conversation in December 2006