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23. July 2020

Via Hitchhiker to Mr Lush, City of Westminster



Dear Lush,

I have arrived in Zurich safe and well. Thank you very much for your letter. It is indeed a pity to hear that our mutual friend has hurt her far-too-long neck. That being said, I’m still unclear as to what her intentions were with Lady Supercilious’ plants in the first place. Please find enclosed an eye pencil for our convalescent Kuku’s far-too-beautiful eyes.

Yesterday, I took a late lunch at our favourite restaurant before partaking in a stiff Brandy Alexander. As always, I sat in the upper room to avoid the common rabble. My only regret is that I couldn’t see the wonderful portrait of Saint Hilda from where I was sitting. Do you recall our run-in with her? After the eighth or ninth Kirsch, we started to believed that she was whispering obscenities in our ears.

After the first sip of Alexander, I began to feel the mellowing effect of the alcohol and allowed myself a glance around the room at the other guests. My eyes lingered on an agèd guest. Judging from his corpulence, my guess would be that he is a member of the walrus family. There was not an angle to him that was not rounded and there was a sort of vibration to his every movement. The fat seemed to flow out of every opening in his suit. God forgive the tailor whom did his best to give this man some shape. I could not look away. In contrast to the rest of his appearance, his hands were immaculate. The fingers looked like they were cut from marble. He handled his cutlery with immense grace. A mix between a surgeon and a clockmaker. There isn’t an orchestra in the world that wouldn’t follow hands like those into the very depths of Hell itself. I was in their thrall.

The man made a sign with those majestic hands for me to join him. I slowly made my way to him. Much in the manner of Louis XVI, he offered me a seat at his table. After the obligatory exchange of pleasantries, one elephant addressed the other in the room. ‘I understand that you must be fascinated by my appetite and my physical appearance. Well, I am the result of 40 years of toil in the vineyards of the Lord. My double chin is a concerto grosso, my stomach an opera buffa, each thigh a melancholy rhapsody. In fact, even the tiniest vibration of my flesh is a song in praise of the angels. I am a work of art, crafted out of crème fraîche and whipped butter by hundreds of the world’s greatest chefs. They have sacrificed whole chickens, racks of lamb, and the freshest oysters at the altar that is my body.’

He said all of this with the quiet and precision of Cupid’s arrow. I was (and you know that this is no common occurence) speechless. All I could do was sit there and grin like the Cheshire Cat. He raised his glass just as a golden beam of sunlight refracted in his white wine to create an explosion of colour. I tilted my head and then I recognised him. Bacchus himself! My hair stood on end. As much as I do appreciate you, Lush, it would be an overstatement to suggest that I sit across from a literal God regularly. He merely winked at me and suggested that I try one of the candied fruits on the table. I specifically recall the feeling of weightlessness that followed. I promise you that my chair was hovering ten centimetres off the ground. Helvetia est: laudatur enim pulchra loco deorum.

As I awoke, there was a certain degree of scepticism as to what may or may not have happened the night before. The Alexander was not the only drink; that much is clear. I did, however, note that the candied fruit was still piled high on the nightstand.

Now to my reading recommendations:

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin: The Physiology of Taste, Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy. A short philosophical text from a true gourmet.

Alice B. Toklas: The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. I was shocked to hear that Gertrude Stein couldn’t cook, but was pleased to hear that she did at least eat very well.

My love to you and our animal friends. 

Do remember to write.

A cattus cum capitis dolore, Ocelot