Beware of ego, always. A betrayal of respect, consuming ego. Friend chef asked me to observe, stage, new restaurant, high-end. Heís young, egoist boy. I was gifted a knife the night before. My face said many emotions and I understand the lack of attachment he had, in order to give me, which I will now have much more attachment. A smile. Lending gift, hard to take, I wish it was just lend. Took my word and new-owned knife to friendís place. Had cancelled week prior due to lack of knifes. Flamenco was my nickname, vibrant Hawaiian shirt. Pacific-Asian place. A sword I was forced to get. Slice brown off salmon. Chop. Hot pickling prep & colorful carrots. Not just orange, not just one size. Purple, small, yellow, medium, varied. Slice on the mandolin. Asked if Iíve cut myself on mandolin. Thin onion, pickled. Liquid goes from stage one to two. Learn new names and names of fish. Learn nigiri essentials. How to wrap my fingers to shape before the fish touches and gentle procedure of not clumping the rice, allowing it to breathe. Help hand rolls, more emphasis on my learning, a future there. Sit down and taste. Omakase, rollercoaster of textures, flavors, sips of water clear mouth, explosions, fireworks. Continue to observe, nervous of lack of skill, we want to take care of you. Offered me a spot. Work with apprenticeship, it feels partly mechanical. Nigiri machine, my friend. Ethics & respect. I debate ego, acknowledge my own. Self-narcissism, debate how to propose to teacher. Have I disappointed him already in drinking the poison?
Teacher refers to timeframe. In a year, I will understand knife, the form of sharpening. Pushes me into tasks, he also easily pulls me out. Refers to poison, how he harms, how he can, how he has. We sit to eat, heís distracted. Knifemaker pulls him aside, pulls his leg. Slowly I eat the chicken porridge soup. Side plate of crushed salt and pepper. Upset I was given his salt. Salt is too salty he says. He sits, silence in eating. I got an interesting text this weekend. Slow sips of broth. Tell teacher of the offer with tone of reluctance. Am I going to take it? My obvious confliction shows. Overwhelmed, already Iíve been overwhelmed. Personal trust in teacher. Teacher has said he cannot teach me what they offered they can. Poison to the head of my friend who gave me his knife. A glimpse of world I did not know. Pushed him away of fish. Teacher goes out for a smoke. He had a smile.
I pluck cilantro, those leaves who were too big, I slice into smaller ones. Teacher stands next to me. Most leaves were nice, corrects me about washing them. A single person next to me, caring. What a compliment it is. Engrained talk of respect. Diamond stone sharpens the dull, a regret it is I was given that knife. A compliment, I said. Gold, was told my patience and humility is gold.