Jerome and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary yesterday, November 19th, and I surprised him with dinner at Opaque Restaurant, a restaurant in Santa Monica where the waiters are blind or visually impaired, and the dining experience takes away sight. The restaurant was absolutely black, and as our waiter, Michael, escorted us to our table, he had to assist us to sit, to find our silverware, and even find each other’s hand! He assisted us to pass food back and forth with instructions as to where to reach into the darkness to find it.
Because of the depth of the blackness, because of no visual stimuli, every morsel of food tasted deeper, richer, more exquisite. I don’t know if I ever tasted a melon ball that was more erotic. Or sauteed spinach that was more desirously appetizing. We ate with silverware sometimes, yet the real fun was eating with our hands! The filet mignon came already cut in pieces, with a steak knife on the plate just in case you wanted to cut it even more. We had the chance to maneuver in this new space of sightlessness, and as I learned to do so, I felt enveloped in a healing, balancing chamber. Everything felt amplified — our communication, our touch, our silence. We were in the All’s hands.
Jerome reminded me that 15 years ago we developed a series of programs for college campuses called “Fun In the Dark,” exploring the changes and challenges of life from the perspective of going into the darkness, as in a black pyramid, seeing things new, and having fun in the dark along the way.
Our incredible waiter, Michael, has been blind 6 years, and when he serenaded us with the song “When I Fall In Love,” I felt the music massage me like magic finger tips reaching straight from his heart. His voice touched me physically, personally.
Jerome hates surprises, yet he admitted this was the best surprise I have ever given him!