the deep brown piece of dark chocolate is almost black. i hold it in my hand and smile with anticipation. i walk back to the couch. take a seat. take a breath.
the surface of this small morsel of chocolate is smooth. as i run my finger over it, i feel the slight grooves on one side. a little piece melts off onto my finger.
i bring the piece toward my mouth and inhale. i close my eyes and am transported. to a small cafe in france with bright yellow walls and red tablecloths; i sit alone and bring a cup of the hot cocoa to my lips and the heat from the drink warms my chilled body. to a shop in belgium where i imagine my husband brings two truffles for us to the bench where i sit outside; his would be coconut, mine double chocolate. to a line outside a chocolatier that is so small only a few people can stand in the shop at a time; as I stand in line the odors waft out through the open door and my stomach starts to rumble. to a couch (or two) in england where i am curled up next to a friend (or two) sharing a bar of chocolate as we laugh and cry and tell stories. to a movie theatre where we pass a box of sno caps between us. to a kitchen in los angeles where i watch a friend make her famous peanut butter and chocolate candies, and lucky me, i get to lick the beaters. to a backyard bonfire where we all roast marshmallows and break hershey bars in half to make smores; i look around and all of my tribe is there with me as we listen to a story of far off places and gypsies and secret passages.
in my head, i hear the soundtrack from chocolat. it has been running through my head all day as i have thought about this topic. then the piece of chocolate snaps with a slight sound as i take a bite.
the bitter, rich flavor explodes on my tongue immediately. and as it melts, i begin to taste the sweet. just enough to satisfy the need. for now.
even though i may not have traveled to all the places the smell of chocolate takes me and enjoyed the perfect evening of chocolate and friendship with some of my dear friends...i know that it does bring us together. this feast for the senses. this sweet, bitter, luscious treat. hope we can enjoy some together soon.