That’s exactly how I spent my Wednesday night at Opaque: Dining in the Dark (a restaurant in pitch black with blind servers for those of you who haven’t heard). It was supposed to be a celebration dinner with a friend of mine for surviving Burning Man. She wasn’t able to make it I went all by my lonesome. I was nervous to go, not knowing what to expect or if I really had the gusto to get gussied up for a nice meal without anyone to go with. I sat there alone, in the dark and realized no one knew I was alone, or even was there at all.
I felt oddly exposed even in the darkness (I think mostly because I decided to eat topless halfway through my meal). I also put the rose petals from the table on top of my head and chewed with my mouth open and picked my nose…just because I could. Hard to believe such darkness that even with my eyes open it was just as black as if they were shut. I couldn’t participate in the “normal” eating alone activities such as reading or fiddling on my phone. Instead, I happily munched away at my l’amuse bouche (that word still conjures up images of the late nineties band La Bouche) and a free glass of champagne (I think the server took pity on me) and listened. There was a large party of retirees to my left and a couple to my right. It could have been a depressing meal and instead I meditated on every bite and every sound. I sensed when someone walked past and even before my server spoke up to announce my next course I knew he was there. The food was better than I expected and my mouth is still watering from the sweet curry sauce on my salmon. The server bumped into my table several times before dessert and even came and sat with me for a bit. He was only one who knew I was there at all.
When I finished my last amazing bite of bittersweet chocolate cake with mint I sat quietly before being lead out of the dark and into the light. It was a metaphor for life (as everything in life is and my Joseph Campbell class reminded me). I was willing to go into the darkness and my own shadow…alone. No one even knew I was there unless I decided to let it be known. Sitting alone in the dark I still felt full of light. My reward for going into the depths – a delicious piece of chocolate cake!?
Today I’m grateful for money, light, and darkness.