I just had a fabulous massage. At the end her two hands rested on my back, silent, nothing happened. It seemed. A wave of relaxation stirred my body. As if she uncorked my body and gently poured the content into a nice wine glass. That was Reiki she explained later. Her name is Geri. She’s a massage therapist at the Amchara Health Resort in Gozo, Malta. I am blaming myself. While lying in the fuchsia pink room, candle lit with the sound of relaxing music and rain pouring down outside the sheltered cocoon; I blame myself for not loving myself. Did I ever really love myself? You should take better care of yourself, I say to myself. Life won’t treat you well if you don’t set the example.
We make love over the phone. Often emotions and hormones get caught up in laughter, arousal, arguments or even silence: ‘I want to listen to your sounds’. And then that’s what we do. Listening to each other’s sounds. But Geri’s massage reminds me of the power of touch. Tears rising up behind my eyeballs. I wish to be able to release them. Together with the worries that tighten the muscles between my shoulder blades and those securely fastened in my neck. Someone touching my skin feels divine. A short break in the endless and relentless repetition of what seems to be a soothing mantra of three words ‘I miss you’ fighting for priority over the other hallucinating three I-Love-You words. I miss his physical presence. We’ve almost got it all. It’s a hazardous place to be. That what follows beyond the ‘almost’ and presumably completes the picture, grows bigger and bigger until the absence of it overtakes everything else.
I need to distract myself. I dedicate my attention to the preparations for a raw Thai salad, attaching lost feelings of love to it. Quickly pickling pungent tastes of cabbage and onion, softening them to digest more smoothly his absence and my longing alike. Is it possible to justify the present? The salad is bright. The colors are as distinctly separate as it’s different tastes. It is tossed as lightly as it is seasoned. The ingredients are as raw as my emotions.
1/2 small red/white/brown or shallot onion – finely sliced – drown in apple cider vinegar – macerate 1 hour
1/8 red/green/ Savoy or white Cabbage – finely sliced – drown in apple cider vinegar – macerate 1 hour
1/4 Fennel bulb – finely sliced – juice of 1/2 lemon adding water until the fennel is covered
6 Mushrooms – finely sliced – juice of 1/2 lemon adding water until the fennel is covered
6 Cherry tomatoes – quartered (yes quartered)
1 Carrot – with a peeler, peel off carrot ribbon
1/2 Bell pepper – nicely sliced
1 Spring onion – chopped diagonally
Handful of each mint, coriander and basil – leaves only – chopped finely
5 cm of Courgette – sliced finely
1/2 Peach or nectarine – pit the fruit and slice finely – add juice of 1/2 a lemon to a bowl, put the fragile fruit carefully, make sure all the flesh has been in touch with the lemon juice by tossing very gently
10 Red currents
1/2 Grapefruit, lime or clementine – cut of the skin thickly, cut out individual citrus particles without hull
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp sweetener (agave, rice sirup, maple sirup, coconut nectar, honey)
A thumb of ginger pressed through garlic press
Right before serving the different ingredients are assembled in a bowl, tossed lightly; just with 1 or 2 swirls with your bare hands while adding the dressing
Poor a shot of coconut oil over it and decorate with dulce and grated grapefruit/lime or clementine zest
‘Is that all?’the woman who came down for her lunch asked and I said: ‘Yes, that’s all’ feeling my tears rising again.