I have a strikingly incorrigible memory of cold tofu, as if I’ve had it before, snugged in a cramp Japanese-style bar with dated stools and lacquered dark-wood tables. Steam perforates the stringent space, an apparition powerful enough to evoke pangs of hunger. The bartender slides a bowl of cold tofu from his end of the table towards me. I gobble it and wash the smooth miso-flavoured block down my throat with warm sake. I order another round.
These are scenes I remember with intense clarity, yet I’ve not experienced it. My mind, however, conjures minute details that I feel the rush of sweat down my back, the warm caress of alcohol into my belly– a bittersweet concoction fit for reveries.
I don’t remember the title of the book now, but I’ve read this scene countless times that until today, it’s a portrait of life that I crave incessantly. In the cold mornings, my desires thicken, only to be lived out again in metaphorical memory.
I wish I could write like that– a scene so deeply riveting, so beautiful and gentle that it sears right into the emotional centres of the brain. I want to write about the rain, the clammy bus stops, the haziness of ennui, the heartwarming bowl of curry rice, and lotus root soup, in a way, that someday, somewhere, someone would desire them with a deep sense of nostalgia they never had before.
Photo by Alva Pratt, Unsplash.