Last weekend, when Steve stayed at Casa De Fuiru, he brought a purple box with him.
“This is for you,” he said, presenting it to my wife and I. “It’s a Monica’s grape pie. Monica’s does the best grape pies.” Then, barely audibly, he muttered under his breath: “And lo with this blessing, thee I also do curse.”
Steve then went on to tell us that since he tried these pies for the first time, he has literally thought about them every day.
I watched him as he said this. His eyes looked into the distance, and for a second I no longer saw Steve. Instead, I saw a sailor, clinging to a raft in the middle of the ocean, his eyes scouring the horizon for blessed relief, knowing that with each rise and fall of the sun there may never be an end to his torment.
I saw the man who, as a child, watched Aphrodite bathe, and who lived his life knowing he would never again see this epitome of beauty (unless he drove 45 minutes away, to Naples, NY, and bought one (I was starting to see Steve again at this point)).
Tonight, Mrs Fuiru and I tried the pie. And lo, with that blessing, we are now also cursed.
Monica’s grape pie is like someone melted down a candy store and placed it inside a pastry crust.
It’s like having a party in your mouth that’s fully catered, with none of the premium liquors running out by midnight and the next day someone else cleans and tidies your house.
After tonight, if I were to ever write an erotic novel, it would be about an innocent young man who is seduced by a wanton grape pie that makes him do all sorts of pervy things, most of which involve putting spoonfuls of the pie in his mouth, slowly. The eighth chapter would consist of nothing but groans, while chapter sixteen would be banned in Hungary. The cover would be a black and white photograph of a plate with pastry crumbs on it.
Since eating a piece of this pie, I have become illogically and obsessively jealous of the foil dish it came in, because that goddammed foil dish has been able to cup the joyous grape pie against its bosom for several weeks. If I could be reincarnated as an inanimate object, it would be a foil pie dish with a Monica’s grape pie in it.
After eating her first mouthful of this pie, my wife said, in a halting and disbelieving fashion: “I don’t really understand what’s happening in my mouth right now.” Before either of us could eat any more, we embraced for several seconds.
Steve, if you’re reading this, I wish to thank you. Thank you for sharing your curse with us. Our lives will never be the same again.
Happy pi day, everyone. Especially you, Phil. Especially you.