If you pull back the curtain, you’ll find some scene — scattered fruits, glasses, a deck of cards, some animal tearing into the skin of a rotten fig. Each object is carefully placed, backed by a burgeoning ballet of dizzy flies and dusty butterflies. This dinner theater is about a passage; the mundane miracles of growth and rot. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity but it’s about a transition, not some memento mori. I arranged it for you, but it seems you let the candle burn out.
I can’t think of a better place for the smoke and mirrors, seated precariously next to someone’s peach. You can’t help but want the flesh when things look better than they taste. A spiraling curl of a citrus peel is sensuous, but it’s bitter to the tip of the tongue. Fruit is a fickle friend. Bitter. Then sweet. Then putrid. Either way it ends up on someone’s plate, yours or theirs.
Carrion, musk and sickly sweets are to be savored. An herbaceous preparation, a perfume of putrescense hangs heavy like a dead swan. There’s still some graceful gesture in a long neck, she nods to dinner and winks to the wheel. Fortune favors none save some and I’m certain our friends have all found theirs.
But if it’s about the extravagance, opulence is a virtue. I say go and gild the lily. Abundance is a luxury and with all the world’s possessions, there are plentitudes to procure. It isn’t excess if it’s just enough.