06 April, 2010

German Chocolate Cupcake

German chocolate creations take me back to 1973, my wedding reception at the La Playette, St Joseph, Minnesota USA. My boyfriend and I had eloped on Oct 9th, my sister's birthday. It was a short, simple ceremony in Waite Park, west of St Cloud, with a justice of the peace and two witnesses. The JP lived in a trailer/mobile home with her husband and two perfectly groomed standard poodles.  There are no photos of the event and I don't remember exactly what we did after our vows, aside from eating and drinking together in our tiny apartment. At the time his drug use didn't concern me. I assumed it was a passing phase and he would grow out of it. When our friends found out about our marriage they insisted on organizing a reception. The wedding cake was 3 tiers of German chocolate, dripping with caramel, coconut and pecans spread generously between the sweet, dense chocolate layers and crowning on top. It was a magnificent creation, and, at that point in my unsophisticated, low-budget life, it was the peak of decadence. It was very fresh, seemed to melt in the mouth and creamy milk chocolate, rather than the deep, cloying dark chocolate so popular now. It was a truly festive occasion filled with the innocence of youth and care-free life ahead. We planned to travel, working along the way and dance was our primary connection. We improvised and choreographed together, playing and experimenting more than intellectualizing about the Art. We didn't have a business plan or even a clue about how to proceed toward financial stability, We believed we would simply model our teacher's example and duplicate her success. I realize now that he was stoned most of the time and had no intention of changing that part of his life. In fact, he was an active advocate for the legalization of marijuana, his substance of choice. He was fascinated with the Native American traditions, learning and performing many of the dances. He had a solid sense of rhythm in addition to an intrinsic musical approach to movement; a flair for comedy; every one's silly little brother. He reminded me of my beloved younger brother. My family commented on the similarity of the two relationships. Our 3 years of play ended on the West Coast: he became violent, and perhaps that alarmed him. It was too easy to blame me for his anger. Was I someone who was fascinated with overturning rocks, watching the creatures who live in cool darkness scurry for cover? Did I feel more powerful, believing I could provoke that kind of violence like the lion tamer who believes he controls the beast within the cage. Meanwhile the beast simply waits, watching for an opportunity to destroy or escape, or both. Yet my charming husband knew he had free will. He packed up his drugs, got into his pick-up truck and drove away, carrying his violence buried in his soul, sleeping until next awakened.

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