The first time I ate a whole lobster it was in the darkness on a porch in Maine with wet hair. We had cheap dollar store candles to light the work of our hands, the candle holders repurposed condiment jars. It was early October and every day had the same quality of light, a constant grey that makes it impossible to tell the time of day. It rained often too. And it was a bit cold in the mornings and the dark of night. But the lobster and it’s juices were warm to our fingers.
I wondered what it would taste like. Would it be different than the chunks of lobster I’d had in stews or in that quesadilla on Harbour Island? This one was plucked from the cold Maine waters that morning and boiled less than an hour ago. This one was eaten out of doors in the wild night. Something told me the flesh would be sweeter.
Anne was my tutor in the art of disassembling these shock red crustaceans. I had only met Anne two evenings ago but a part of me has known her my whole life. ‘Everything is done with a twist,’ she said. With my first twist I now held the tail in my hand and there was a swish of sea water onto my plate. I’m eating the ocean.
The meat was sweet. We had warm butter but we didn’t need it. Anne was right, it was more than enough on it’s own. Red wine sat in water glasses next to us. My glass was stained with lobster juice, this feast messy and wonderful. Anne used her hands to talk to me. I took her photo. In the summer she said you eat your lobster like this fending off mosquitoes and then you jump in the lake. That I will have to try next time.