This evening, Margaret and I were dining on a sumptuous feast of leftovers, including some fried aubergine with garlic — friend aubergine and garlic that had made the most of its time in the refrigerator. And it had gathered its forces into one concentrated clump of pungency. One clump, hiding in the rice at the bottom of the bowl. Lying in wait.
Most readers will know me to be the sort of guy who thinks the best of everyone until they compel me to think otherwise, so I didn’t give the clump of rice at the bottom of the bowl a second thought — it was just there to contribute to my tasty repast. Little did I anticipate the intense explosion of garlic fury in my mouth. Worse yet, the sudden burning sensation cause a hiccup, a mini-gasp, that drew a knot of the garlic stuff to the back of my throat. That was an unfortunate turn for me; for the next four or five minutes I was wheezing, gulping breaths, nose streaming, mouth ablaze, coughing, sucking air.
It took about fifteen minutes, maybe twenty, till I felt normal again. This provides the sort of occasion through which one can perceive vividly the frailty of mere human flesh, and return to comfort before too long.