Bones. In the Bastille. It’s not there anymore. A dark place, but beautifully lit, like furnaces stoked by subtle demons, or like that intriguing painting, “An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump”. Nothing frilly or fancy. Bare wooden tables and bare stone walls. The visual rhetoric of nakedness. Of exposure. The pipes and machinery laid bare. Smoke without mirrors. We took our seats in this stark mis-en-scene.
You had the lamb’s heart. Tender and pink and unnervingly intact. I went for bone marrow and liver. We ate giblet puree and white pudding. And that wine. A friend of the waiter had a vineyard. A natural wine. Raw with a fizz in the tail. A wine Baudelaire might have drunk. It was one of those places, Bones, a cell in the city, always a cell within the body of the city but also and abruptly its own little world. Hissing and clinking and conversation. And the clinking and the chatter moved to the rhythm of the same bass drum.
The energy of the place, the hubbub bigger than the room and therefore bouncing, or escaping into the cold night as someone walked in. Each bubble of conversation adding to the great effervescence. Each conversation, feeding off this noise but having to turn against it, became thereby more intense. This hubbub, I thought, I fantasised, must be close to the hubbub in the Flore all those years ago. Different conversations connected by the self-same energy. That hubbub which has left the Flore and repeats itself here instead. This is how it works. The Globe for example. Pointless. The energy of theatre, the rites of theatre, can only be repeated elsewhere. We should not get hung up on location. On architectural shells. No matter.
I ate as never before. You inducted me. Offal, crisp fat. My stomach, for years so reticent. Me with my patra leaves and lentils, me with my nettle tea and yoghurt. The great caution, extended over many years, now locked out, banging on the window, made finally homeless. Suddenly I lived the word voracious. The reticent stomach now drunk and loquacious. The appetite itself chewing and gulping. I would not have been able to stomach it before. It would have jammed up my guts, as my guts were jammed up on our second date. But now, I said to you, I could crunch on bones and drink blood. Appetite, appetite, appetite.