At night I lay in bed atop heathered flannel sheets, my stomach churning and my eyes rolled back in my head. I feel like death even though it is life–the multiplication of tiny cells inside me– that ruins my late afternoons and thoroughly sickens me by evening.
It is at those times I’ve taken up inhaling in long draws of air the scent of gardenias soaking in a Japanese tea cup of water at my bed side. It is at those times I focus on the pure whiteness of the petals, the buttery yellow centers, and try to distract myself with sensations of flavor. Like a demitasse of cream, the flower petals rise up in stiff whipped peaks and I can’t resist the temptation imagining foods fatty and whipped.
Butter and heavy cream and mascarpone and hung yogurt. All beaten and whipped together, combined in different ratios, piped into crispy fried pastries or served warm paired with the simplest and nakedest of steamed vegetables. A teaspoon of salt or a quarter cup of sugar, shavings of chocolate or choppings of tarragon. I want it. Smooth and rich and absolutely satisfying. These are the flavors that carry me off to bed, that alkalize the foul gastric taste in my mouth, rendering my palate cleansed and ready for the meal I will devour once this late afternoon-into the evening variety of morning sickness leaves me.