18 years ago my mother brought it home – a wedge of some sort of confectionery, light and resembling brown marble, that she kept in her sock draw. She told me the name of it but I was only nine years old and spent whatever free memory I had in my head dedicated to memorizing every line of the Power Rangers. But I remember that taste; chalky, sweet without being over imposing, and a distinct flavor that I have never been able to accurately describe. I use this taste to describe other ones . . . although the fact that I could not remember the name of the confectionery made that difficult. “This tastes like that thing I had that one time when I was a kid,” does not a useful description make.
Years later, I tried to get my mother to remember what it was, all to no avail. It was not her fault since all the information I could give her was –
- You brought it home.
- It was like cheesecake, except not cold, or creamy, or made with milk. It was nothing like cheesecake, but that’s as close as I can come.
- You kept it in your sock drawer.
Alas, she said she had no idea what I was talking about, and went on to discuss something or other that I paid no attention to because I was researching this candy online. And thus my life went, with an urge to taste this mystery food that had entered my life, and urge that I would never be able to sate. I would lie in my bed and lament over my plight, to curse the gods for making me want something I had no name for.
Scoff if you must, but you can not imagine the true despair that would envelop me when this yearning began. I lived to deal with it, a day at a time, until that lust was just a tickle at the back of my mind. But I was never rid of it either, for that tickle was always there, reminding me that there was a candy out there that had stolen my heart.
Years later, again, and in the present, I was walking out of a deli late at night. Whether I was on a diet or no, I had wanted pastrami and thus the pastrami had been gotten. While at the cash register, I saw little candy bars in white and red wrappers, saying Halvah on the front. I had seen these many time at this deli, and this time I felt a sort of pull towards –
Look, I’m not going to draw this out. You know what it was, you can read the writing on the wall. Or the web page. Was it the candy I had been searching for? Yes. Was I elated to be reunited with it? Of course. Did my girlfriend like? No, she spit it out immediately, after which I smacked her for disrespecting my soulmate-candy in such a manner. Was it exactly how I remembered it, exactly what I had always wanted?