Two phone calls later I get to. Scooter, April, and Seaweed press their foreflippers against the pool's edge, look me in the eye, and chomp silver capelins (a kind of smelt) right out of my hand. Their mouths are pink. Their teeth, perfect little black pyramids. I get to feel their whiskers, their breath. They bark and catch fish on the fly. They gulp them down without tasting. Why? What makes them lust after a slimy, semifrozen, four-inch capelin more than, say, a zucchini? Do animals experience food pleasure someplace other than their mouths? Do they taste in their stomachs? In any case, I am euphoric. I am beyond happy. When you are truly, completely in the moment, you can only scrutinize it later. While it's happening, you feel it. Afterward I decide my hands don't smell like fish, they smell like the sea. They smell like—what? They smell like the amuse-bouche at Alain Ducasse.
Patricia Volk is the author of Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family (Knopf).
Ready for Your Own Adventure?
- Making your own fun, from Martha Beck
- 4 ways to make the most of summer
- Finding joy on the open road
From the May 2002 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.