The first time I did ecstasy I did it because a boy I liked gave me a tab of it. Being just recently twenty-one and, obviously, immortal in the sense that newly minted twenty-one year olds think they are I slipped it down my throat with a shot of whisky and thought how damn cool I must have looked, how effortlessly nonchalant I must have seemed, and that surely this boy would like me. I effused coolness as I nursed a neat glass of brown liquor – nursed it as if it were a dying patient as I had yet to actually develop a taste for whisky. It took every drop of willpower not to cringe from every sip as the booze burned my flesh lips to stomach.
(This would prove untrue after his dismissal from the university.)
By the end of the night I realized I liked the ecstasy more than the boy who within the hour was tweaking harder than a computer tech and manwhoring himself out so hard I’d expect to find a hole in a bathroom stall proudly named after him.
Needless to say that jealousy had weaned me off him rather quickly, but the ecstacy helped quicker as I forgot all about him and gleefully melted into the bass pounding out two story tall speaker sets mounted around the dance floor like thumping obelisks.
Later, at the bar, I met another nice boy with whom I floated off the ground with. He got me safely home (nothing happened) and he would eventually become a good friend for the next many years until contact dwindled after he moved away to attend law school at Harvard after scoring an impressive and near-legendary perfect LSAT score.
"Of course," he said, "it's a fucking stupid one. But a few years from now you'll realize it was an experience worth living." Years later, I can say he was right. Everyone should try it at least once.
Was it foolish to do a drug for a boy? Absolutely. Insanely so. But, then again, we all do things to impress someone we’re smitten with. Some of them rather brilliant and other times we throw down drugs with copious amounts of alcohol. C’est la vie.
Comforting our crush while he or she is in a break-up, hoping they’ll understand that our compassion for them is a veil for something so much more intense. That's when you gently, so gently, place your hand on their shoulder they’ll put their hand over it before looking up at you. Then it’ll come... that spark of realization like the universe just came together before their eyes and they realize that you, YES YOU! are the one! You’ll embrace passionately. Kisses as tender as an egg yolk quivering in your hand. Dizzy with glee. The crush hops you on his moped (my fantasy, so shush it, he drives a moped) and you scoot down the street in eternal, undying bliss.
We all remember it and it sucks to run through that emotional apocalypse.
Then there was that cute Asian boy in fencing club whom I almost killed because nothing says I fancy you like a thorough ass kicking and inflicting a wound that needed four stitches. It was the equivalent of pulling a girl's ponytail on the playground, only with a hospital visit and swords.
If you feel like gaining the attention of your boy, girl, partner, whomever you seem to be chasing at the moment I encourage this cake. It'll do the job and then some. It's swoon inducing and first kiss encouraging.
Just the the thing to impress...
Rhubarb Polenta Cake
1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
3/4 cup coarse polenta
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
dash of ground cinnamon
zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup brown sugar
10 tablespoons butter, cold and diced
2-4 tablespoons whole milk
a few dashes of your favorite bitters
sugar for sprinkling
1. Lightly butter an 8-inch spring-form pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the rhubarb, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the water in the baking dish and toss. Bake for thirty minutes, and then place the rhubarb in a mesh colander to drain; reserve the juices to serve with the cake.
2. Put the polenta, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, orange zest, brown sugar, and remaining sugar in a food processor and blitz a few times. Add the butter and blitz a few more times until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix the egg, bitters, and 2 tablespoons of the milk into a bowl and blend into the mixture with the food processor. Take care not to overmix. The mixture should be sticky and soft. If it isn't add another tablespoon of milk.
3. Press two thirds of the dough into the cake pan and push it 1/4-inch up the sides. (You'll probably need to flour your fingers a bit to keep it from sticking from you.) Be sure there are no cracks or holes. Place the rhubarb over the surface. Crumble the remaining dough over the top. Scatter a bit more sugar over the top and bake for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes, and serve with the juices from the rhubarb.