I was sniffing the honeysuckle when the Guerilla Gourmet Restaurant Bus stopped for me.
Has anyone heard of these guys? Jumbo silver bus, kitchen in the back. Some kind of retired famous chef from a big New York hotel. He cooks everything, his husband drives, and their pet ourangutan brings the dishes to people.
"Your appreciation of honeysuckle makes me think that you might enjoy tonight's meal," said the driver when he stopped for me. The crowd inside cheered - they love stopping for new passengers. Fun bunch. Free meal, too, but there's no way to make reservations or even predict the route. Nobody on board had ever even heard of it until the bus stopped for them, to invite them to dine.
And, oh, what dining it was! Sweet flowers and strange fruits, delicate light flaky sea creatures and wild butterleaves and surprising spiced honey beverages. It was like inhaling summer. It all made sense, and it was all delicious, but I couldn't recognize the ethnicity of anything. I asked the chef.
"After I discovered the One True Salad Recipe," the chef said, "I was able to create my own traditions, from scratch, from the absolute insight I have experienced. Every night I construct a thousand years of new culinary history."
He wasn't bragging.
Okay, maybe he was.
I was about to order that One True Salad dish, because it sounded pretty good. I mean, that's quite a name. He must have known I was going to do it, though, because he interrupted me, "Please, don't. I only made that dish once, and I wish I hadn't. My mind has not been the same. I can no longer enjoy normal food. None of us who ate it can, ever again."
He went back to the kitchen, weeping.
The driver sighed. "Seeing the faces of people who can still enjoy food is the best he can do now. That's why he runs this bus."
From this, I have relearned a lesson: I totally love free food!