I went to the restaurant Talk the other night, on recommendation from resident Baller Dave B. I borrowed some clothes from hakim because mine were wrinkly, as I had just returned from the road and hadn’t got to cleaning clothes yet. I looked spiffy in a cashmere jacket and a pimp French shirt.
I roll to the spot and chill on nice soft couch made for lounging, but set in a space of solid clean objects and mirrors. So i get a bit antsy and order an Espresso. It arrives in a nice cup that someone thought about, not for utility, but uniqueness and was just about to take a sip when Jacky Maillard appears out of nowhere, breathless and jerky. He looks me up and down and says:
“Wot is zis? U will ‘ave an Esspresso? we are to ‘ave dinner, no?”
Uhh, uhhh, uhhhh … He waves it off. I’m new and all it takes is a listening ear and Jacky will tell you all there is to know about Les Vin Rebelle and “The Love” and “The Passion” and his kids, who call him Baba or Susu or Lao Ba … He runs this high class French spot for another super baller named Jackie Chan. No not the gong fu guy. But think about a super baller who would name himself Jackie Chan. What do you think he looks like? Skinny? Bad Teeth? Shifty nostrils? Glasses? Is this what you were thinking? Or were you thinking boisterous pudgy guy who drinks a lot, has a huge full head of black hair and a gold molar?
Anyway. Jackie Slim is the boss and Jacky Two Coats is the manager. Not wearing two coats, but two coats of cologne. He actually does not have two coats of cologne, he is perfectly perfumed. This is the point. Thats what Two Coats means. Perfectly. His coif bounces. His nose was specifically designed for testing his clients fare. His smile is passionate.
Oh brother we got down on on it. I was interviewing him for a story and he was Loving it. He told me about his obsession with detail and demonstrated it first through the exact measurements of the spot to the imported espresso cups and crystal wine glasses. The super low price he got for the gold linen and silk tablecloths. His staff put the first fare, faux gras pate, down with the pate facing away from me. Jacky frowns and shakes his finger slightly. He tells them off arrogantly, but like a father.
After the goose liver, which melted in my mouth, we had asparagus soup with hunks of creamy love and bread with garlic butter. By this time we had already finished the first wine, a white from Cali. Jacky admires Californian wine for their unique wet texture and aggressive sweetness. Taken together, these characteristics help make whites from Cali excellent to open the taste buds in preparation for good eats.
We switched to a rebellious red just as the soup ended. The first sip and I laughed out loud and began leaning into Jacky’s words, letting them glide down my face as i swished the wine in my mouth for much longer than necessary. I imagined the world in slow motion, just so I could have more time to swish before the potion went down my throat and diffused throughout my body. When i opened my eyes, I was a different person in a different place. Jacky looked at me with a growing smile and his eyes stretched and searched me out. Like a wizard whose spell is beginning to take effect, he rose up and spread his cloak over me.
“There are four grapes in this wine, all from the region around Bourdeaux, near the Chateau Le Fet. The Earth, here is of course, the same Earth and this wine benifice from the same Earth and also close to the River and of course the Air and Wind are similar so this property can make a very special wine, but they do not have the voice, they are yelling for us to see them, but we cannot. Because they lack, you know all of these things, and so they are Vin Rebelle and this is what I Love. Les Vin Rebelle are somewhat of an obsession for me.
The four grapes are cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and (pause) a miracle
grape. Yes (nodding at my unasked question) a miracle grape, it is (circle wave of hands) impossible to translate from the French. It is a miracle, maybe 4% in this wine. In other wines, maybe 5% if they are looking for this truly unique taste.”
I smiled and dangled the glass in three fingahz, thinking how pimp a man can get, when my lamb shows up with three different purees, garlic tater, artichoke and eggplant. The lamb is breaded on the outside and barely done in the middle. Its presented in the pimp manner. I look up, our eyes meet in mutual understanding, and my smile grows. Jacky and I are of one mind. We are sensualists of a higher order. A meal such as this one takes us both to that special place where wisdom reigns and laughter is king.
A gong fu master was poor and starving and had only one possession left, his great sword. His belly rumbles and he know he must sell it, so he takes it down and walks into the market to sell it. He thinks to himself, if i meet a man who knows what this is, I will give it to him for free. I will sell it for 10 gold pieces to the first clown who walks up, even if he wants to use it as a shovel.
He sits in the streets all day and many yokels walk up and stare at his sword, but not comprehending what it is and seeing no use for it, walk on.
Toward evening another Gong Fu master is being driven through the market in a carriage. The last rays of the setting sun flash off the blade of the great sword and he bellows for the carriage to stop. He leaps out of the carriage and walks up to the master sitting on the ground with the sword before him.
What is this? says he. Who would try and sell a sword such as this one, obviously priceless and magicked?
I would, says the starving master. He rises up on his feet and the two peer at each other from beneath bushy brows. But for you, it is free.
Free!? I think not, answers the master. I will give you 100,000 gold pieces for it.
They stand with bottom lips thrusting staring at each other, than they burst into loud laughter and embrace like brothers.