How to Eat a Bunch of Grapes,

especially if you haven't
had any for a very
long time.

Notes to Myself, October 1985

Resist the urge to cram the whole bunch into your mouth right away.
First, just look at the grapes. Spend several weeks: look at them against several different backgrounds, under different lighting conditions, from many angles.
Wait a few days.
Then heft the whole bunch, weigh them in your hand, caress them.
Smell them. Rub them across your cheeks. Brush them with your lips. Allow yourself a little lick.
Wait a week or two.
Pick one grape. Hold it between your thumb and index finger. Give it a gentle squeeze: very gentle, you don't want to break it, just to feel how firm it is.
Now you can put it in your mouth. Hold it between your tongue and upper lip. Test it carefully between your teeth. Roll it around in your mouth.
Very carefully, very slowly, very gently, squeeze out just one drop of the sweet juice.
Roll the grape and the juice around in your mouth. Roll it around your teeth, your gums, inside the cheek.
Squeeze out just one more drop of juice. Another. Not too fast. Taste each drop as it comes. Ten drops.
When the grape is half crushed in your mouth, crush it the rest of the way.
Gently chew the skin. Do not swallow yet. Lick a little juice onto your lips.
Finally, you find yourself swallowing.
Then sleep and dream.
In a day or two, allow yourself another grape.

Richard Sharvy