#15: Re­turn­ing Xmas to its porno­graphic roots

GA Voice - - A & E -

Robert wasn’t re­li­gious, but he ap­pre­ci­ated the deca­dence as­so­ci­ated with Christ­mas’s pa­gan ori­gins. He wasn’t sur­prised when mem­bers of the Food Porn Sup­per Club lob­bied for a hol­i­day meet-up. The lo­ca­tion was Car­da­mon Hill in West At­lanta. Cos­tumes were op­tional.

“I love Car­da­mon Hill,” Janet, his co-host, said. “But is an In­dian restau­rant ap­pro­pri­ate for Christ­mas?”

“Maybe they won’t have fruit­cake and eggnog,” Robert replied. “We can hope, can’t we?”

The restau­rant is small and priced in the fine-din­ing range. It serves the cui­sine of chefowner Asha Gomez’s home, Ker­ala, a south­west­ern state of In­dia that was set­tled by the Por­tuguese. It was a ma­jor stop along the fa­mous Spice Route and ab­sorbed the fla­vors of many other cul­tures.

As din­ers filed into the din­ing room, Robert looked around for Lee, the man who so strongly at­tracted him. They had dined to­gether twice and, although Robert knew lit­tle about him, he was ex­tremely in­trigued. He orig­i­nally cre­ated the sup­per club in hope of find­ing a hus­band be­fore he turned 50 later this year.

Janet dinged her glass with a mistle­toewrapped dildo to call for si­lence and in­tro­duce the evening’s dis­cus­sion topic.

“Wel­come, ev­ery­one. Christ­mas is about good­will to all. I want to share a quote from F. Scott Fitzger­ald, writ­ten 80 years ago. It’s from his story, ‘Rich Boy’:

“We are all queer fish, queerer be­hind our faces and voices than we want any­one to know or than we know our­selves. When I hear a man pro­claim­ing him­self an ‘av­er­age, hon­est, open fel­low,’ I feel pretty sure that he has some def­i­nite and per­haps ter­ri­ble ab­nor­mal­ity which he has agreed to con­ceal.”

“He didn’t mean queer in the sense we use the word now, of course, and that makes the quote all the more amaz­ing,” Janet said, lean­ing back in her chair. “But I won­der how the pres­sure gay peo­ple ex­ert on one an­other to be nor­mal af­fects us now.”

A stream of sweet odors wafted into the din­ing room, cir­cled the ta­ble and whooshed out of the room. It was not par­tic­u­larly In­dian. Nor was it the usual scent of Christ­mas. It had a bit­ter­sweet qual­ity, like the scent a de­parted lover leaves on a pil­low. It was one of those aro­mas in the world most peo­ple don’t no­tice.

Lee ar­rived – late again. He was wear­ing makeup, which star­tled Robert.

“It’s funny you are speak­ing about con­ceal­ment and nor­mal­ity,” Lee said, look­ing around for a chair. “Does my makeup con­ceal me or re­veal me?”

A woman wear­ing antlers draped with con­doms spoke up.

“It might re­veal your an­drog­yny but it con­ceals your iden­tity for the most part. So I give it a B-.” Sev­eral ap­plauded.

Lee shrugged. “But it’s not a full­time mask,” he said. “It may con­ceal my face for a time, but any mask de­mands re­moval. So, ul­ti­mately, I think a mask makes one more deeply scru­ti­nized.”

A man wear­ing a thong and a Michele Bach­mann mask topped with a plas­tic Bi­ble and a pe­nis ap­plauded. Then Lee brusquely scooted a chair be­tween Robert and Janet, while con­ver­sa­tion con­tin­ued around the sev­eral ta­bles. Janet shot him a look and rolled her eyes.

“Sorry to come be­tween the two of you,” Lee said.

Robert was em­bar­rassed but pleased. Yet he won­dered: Why is a hot man in women’s makeup and oth­er­wise nor­mal at­tire af­ter me? Is this

Car­da­mon Hill of­fers cui­sine from Ker­ala, a south­west­ern state of In­dia that was set­tled by the Por­tuguese. The restau­rant has brought back Goat Biryani for their win­ter menu. (Photo via Face­book)

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