Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is Sushi a Moveable Feast? A Weak Imitation of Master Hemingway

In honour of Hemingway Week at ye old PBIHT.. 
[Originally published here on March 19, 2010]

There was a warm, friendly atmosphere in the sushi shop. I sat at the bar of the restaurant, sipped the green tea and pulled my new hard-covered book from my bag. I ordered my usual for a Japanese restaurant so far from Japan, where unless you have the money to blow, you won't get fish good enough for straight sushi. I ordered the rolls that have the shrimp tempura and green vegetables inside and that are topped, each one, with a big generous slab of salmon, an orange not quite the lovely bright you find in Kansai, but still with those white V-shaped stripes that go down the length of the fish. The salmon slithered smooth and sweet down the throat when you ate it. The crunch of the tempura and wedge of cucumber balanced the softness of the fish and the ripe avocado, and then to wash it down with the cold of the Japanese beer I had ordered to go with it. The fresh crispness of the lager complimenting the sweetness of the fish.

It was good to be alone in the restaurant like that, sitting, the only one, at the counter, but comfortable there, absorbed as I was in the flavours, and the slow chopstick way I'd learned from a friend to eat sushi, putting wooden utensils down after eating each piece, making the meal last, allowing the belly to fill. And all the while reading sensous pages far better written than this and so strongly styled, so uniquely written. I felt inspired to rush home (I didn't rush - that's a lie; the weather too spring gorgeous to rush, the night too clear, a sliver of moon high in the clean air) and write about my experience in the style of the book I was reading. Or at least, a lazy approximation of that style, of Hemingway's style, in particular from his great collection of memoirs called, "A Moveable Feast." Cause what I'm really trying to do is recommend this remarkable literary remembrance to you.


  1. johanna6:51 p.m.

    you're so convincing! damnit, i have soup in the fridge, and lots of work to do, and now i'm going running out in the rain to find sushi. and it will be takeout, so i think we can answer your question: yes, sushi is definitely a moveable feast ;-)

  2. If I had any real sense, instead of raw fish depictions, I'd be busy describing one of my short stories - make one of them sound delectable. Get my three readers rushing out in rain to buy one of those. Ha!

  3. Anonymous4:42 p.m.

    ... and you should try your hand at pornographic novels (the erotic and respectful brand). You'd have me goin' like a spicy tuna roll on a plate of molten wasabi.

  4. baby (cause i know that voice anywhere), you can get ginger with my sushi anytime!

    and porn? you mean sexy sexy writing? you mean using sex as a tool to sell something? interesting thought. but would it work...


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