How to Enjoy a Whitman’s Sampler

You have so many options, but
here is the thing I want you to understand –
for the most excruciatingly delicious experience,
you should select just one.

One single morsel will become a part of you,
and the rest are there to show you
why that one was your perfect choice.
This is extremely hard to do, but if you do it right,
it will be the most satisfying culinary experience
of your life.

You should do with no distractions except for beauty,
perhaps a sunny afternoon breeze,
or Sade playing quietly in the background.
Slowly unwrap the cover and gently spread open the lid.
It is important to move slowly and inquisitively so that
the chocolates are not frightened by too ubrupt an entry.

At first, no touching. Just look.
And see. Look carefully.
The map on the inner cover is a little bit helpful,
but not if you regard it with too much bias.
You cannot approach true love with any
preconceived notions of prefering nuts over fruit.
But naming things give them meaning –
Cherry. Caramel. Cluster. Cordial.
Beautiful words.

After you have respectfully regarded each possibility,
contemplating its design and purpose,
noticing the visual beauty bestowed by its creator,
then, you can touch. One at a time. Slowly.

Lovingly, you can consider one and pick it up,
examine its form and breathe it in slowly.
Imagine what is inside and whether that will be
a hard chalky nut, or a soft oozing cream,
or some kind of exceptionally long
slow molasses laden chewy experience.

Don’t rush.
Give each option its turn, and your purest focus.
Is it dark or milk chocolate you prefer?
Mindfully become aware that almost immediately
you have develop an affinity for a select few,
or found, at least, that you know what you don’t want.
The sharp-edged messenger boy may be too simplistic and banal,
or the undefinable concept of chocolate whip may just feel too risky.

You may find that you can narrow down to two or three,
and then, the choosing becomes agony.
You will settle on only one, but permit yourself a taste,
if it will help you find your way.
Run your tongue gently on the curves
and inhale slowly to feel the essence of the mystery inside.
Turn it over, and gently spread into it with your finger
and just the tip of your tongue to sample its secrets,
to get an idea of how the texture will feel inside of you.
Do this with each of your favorites to determine
the perfect, most deserving, all in choice.

Now you are nearly home. Thank the other candidates
for sharing with you and then the rest of the box can be
respectfully released, because you have found
your one.

Now, how you proceed is entirely up to you.
Some of you will want to take itty bitty pieces
and spread the consumation out over countless but manageable moments.
Some will want to pop the entire thing in all at once
and consume without abandon or delay, distractions or interferences.
Others may want to savor, letting it slowly decompose
and seep its joys over many many exquisite minutes.

I do none of those. While I understand the joy
of something experienced in its purest form,
I prefer the contrast, the juxtaposition.
I will have mine “with.”

Maybe I’ll submerge it into a hot, luscious,
deep rich cup of coffee so that it bathes and
dissolves into an amorphous ooze of 1 plus 1 makes 3.
Or maybe I’ll heat it in the microwave on a plastic
spoon so that it starts to melt then carmalize
and take on pungent unexpected aspects.

But most likely, I will enjoy mine with a lover,
relishing in the deep appreciation that the most
exquisite form of pleasure comes from sharing.

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3 thoughts on “How to Enjoy a Whitman’s Sampler

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