There are always 3 good signs you're getting older: One, you start to believe things you used to think were utter nonsensical crap, two, you start to care what people think a lot less, and three, you usually become increasingly incontinent. I'm working through stages one and two at the moment. You also start to reminisce more frequently...back in my blissful days as a student of philosophy, we looked at several ways of arguing for a proof of the existence of God. Highly important work, i'll have you know, nothing as indulgent or frivolous as those sorry bastards wasting their lives doing education and nursing degrees. We were in the trenches there, actually working out the hows and the whys of this thing called life. The joke was you come to philosophy to learn about life, and you leave learning about 'life'. I have actually road tested that joke a few times socially, yeah, don't you make that mistake either. One of the so called God proofing ideas was the teleological argument. Telos means the 'end goal' (or something like that) in Greek. The gist of the argument, for those of you that aren't swapping notes under the table already, is that if the world is so beautiful (stars, moon, sun, ocean, people you love, nietzsche's eyes etc), and so suited for life and living (air, water, geo-chemical conditions I know nothing about), then God must exist, cause all this couldn't be here by mere chance, randomness can not come up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Earl Grey or Baths with Lavander or the way my mum and dad pretend to not really like each other. Randomness can not explain chocolate, or soughdough Sonoma bagels, it can't explain love or poetry or how funny it is when some one falls over in front of you. This was before my days as a sentimental sob, so of course I thought that proof was a load of self righteous horse shit. I was 19, so I knew it all, life was easy, straight, self determined etc, God didn't exist, and certainly not for telelogical reasons.
What a different Amanda we have become these days. Amanda Then wouldn't even sit near Amanda Now on a bus. Actually, both Amandas don't do buses, and probably never will, so scrap that idea. Life is different, meaning is all there is, there is the idea of order, of meant to be, I am very fatalistic as of late. Love has done it to me. Not just love of people, either.
The love of Mangoes.
Mangoes. Mmmmmangoes. Jesus. Bloody. Christ. Mangoes. I have eaten at least one mango a day every day they've been in season for as long as my memory winds back into itself. I love mangoes. I love mangoes so much. God can not not exist when there are mangoes. Not possible. No way. Nup. Talk to the stickywithmangojuice hand. That's it. Mangoes = God. I like mangoes so much, I actually think about them sometimes. What makes the perfect mango, the colour, the shape, the origin, the smell. And the ancient, torturous and beautiful play of Time In Flesh: when to cut, when to slice, when to dissect, when to savour.
I love mangoes so much I necessarily have to hate Mangroves, those shitty 2 additional letters mean that my heart leaps when I see the word in print or hear it said. But it's Mangroves, not Mangoes. Which sucks, right? It's a bit of a tease, they should have christened those ugly swampy trees that have nothing to do with my proof of God something else.
The Anatomy of Mango is a simple science:
Those are Northern Territory Mangoes, not too bad, but QLD still produces the best. I personally like the tear dropped (boob, if you ask wally) shaped ones, not the round ones that look like a globe. The tear ones have a more delicate taste, more nuanced, the round ones are a bit too tangy and too sweet, they also taste like dirt/earth a little more than their more celestial mammary shaped cousins. Ripe mangoes smell ready. If it's got no smell, don't buy it and don't eat it yet, I know, I know, easier said than done. But saving yourself for ripeness is way more rewarding than saving yourself for marriage, trust me on that one. Good colour is not yellow, its a deep orange with flecks of redness, but if the mango is too orange and not yellow enough, it's likely to be a round one that has that crasser taste that misses the mark of mango perfection.
I've never been a fan of those Old Schoolers who slice the cheeks into dicey squares and then flip. Nup. Sooo 1980's... You're really not having the full mango experience if that's still your surgical method. Too much mango gets lost, but not only that, the joy of mango mouthfeel is the idea that you sink your teeth into bound flesh and feel it gently, seductively give way, loosen and soften into your mouth while you suck, taste and pull away with your teeth. To actually have the mango in little cubes robs you of the unsaid glory of the sinking of teeth and the wrapping of tongue, the ripping of flesh, it's too clinical, not messy, not earthy enough. Not for me, anyway. The Amanda school of cut is a lot simpler, but also a lot more sensual, so put some gentle music on, light a candle, close the door and do the following: Take mango, with a sexysharp knife, cut both cheeks free of the seed, right along the seed, let the knife scrape so you don't jip yourself. Take both halves, cut in half in the middle. Take one quarter, sink teeth in, scrape teeth back and take a slow, juicy, sunken bitesuck. That's how it's done. Cut the little 1cm or so sides on the left or right of the seed, I usually eat those before the quarters, being nearer to the seed, they are not as fleshy or moist as the cheek sections, so that way you save the best for last in what is a progressive trajectory of delight!
I don't like mango cheesecake or mango smoothies etc. Just give it to me straight. Unadulterated. Hardcore. Perfect. I don't want traces of mango taste. I want mango.
Little ambitious dreamer that I was, I used to throw the seed from every mango in the garden as a child, hoping we'd one day have our (my) very own mango tree. Never happened, but it doesn't matter: I have a Lebanese mother, ie: if there's not ten times too much of everything, there is not enough. That beautiful woman, May Bechara, has always bought them for me by the caseload. I usually suss out the case and figure out which mango, based on colour/smell/feel is the first to go, I line them up, then I shoot them down. One. By. Juicy. One.
None of those mangoes in that case are ready to be eaten, so i've worked myself up for nothing. And I can't do any sexy mango flesh shots, cause you know the rules about not cutting when the mango is not ready.
Rediscover them if you haven't had one in a while, the season is really kicking off for them now and they are starting to be a little cheaper. But seriously guys, 4 bucks a pop for a mouthgasm and the sureness that God is rocking it out there somewhere is as good value for money as you're ever likely to get.
Mangoes: light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul...