Knowing a person


“What do I taste like?” a friend asked in yet another abstract but complete conversation. “You are the musky aftertaste of bitter chocolate,” I said, and in our own spaces we agreed. I wish that could be my introduction, “This is my friend who is the flavor that coco leaves on the roof of your mouth and back of your tongue,” and I wish people could grasp that, understand it, and go “Ahhh…I see.”

But instead, when talking about other people we are confined to trivial things, “What does he do?” “How old is she?” “What did she study?” and in that, I’d have to agree with Antoine de Saint Exupéry where in The Little Price (my most favorite book EVER!!!) he writes:

When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters.   They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

I don’t know that I care about whether one collected butterflies, but the last few days I’ve been toying with the idea of what people taste like…and maybe even knowing them by their flavor.

I think, maybe, I’d be the flavor of milk tea.

Wouldn’t that be grand?

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4 comments
  1. the.coco.aftertaste said:

    milk tea is so close. maybe even true. and she collects words and the smell of dusk air.

  2. Prayash said:

    While these are trivial — “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” and “How old is she?,”
    I’m not completely sure if these also are — “What did she study?” and “What does he do?” Particularly the latter. After all, what you do is what you are.

  3. i always give people i have just met my own name for them or what i think would suit them best and i slot them into a decade…so if i meet ayushma from satdobato, in my head i say “sushma from the 60s” ; )

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