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A Question Of Taste
Oliver Moor


My sweet lady, my dove… I have tried in recent weeks to truly become yours, but feel that I have been unable to find a way to your heart. I fear that my lifeless body, and this note, will be all you find of me. I would like you to know what I felt about you, and this will be the last chance I have. Remember, dear girl, I wished only to be part of you. And now, perhaps by taking my own life, I can find a way to be so.

I remember when at first I beheld you. Our ship entered the great bay and we saw that your island was truly a paradise. The lush vegetation parted and there you were, my love, standing on the beach, with your spear in hand. The rest of your people were there too, but you, my sweet, were their Queen, and I realised that I could love no other. Never before, I thought, has there been such a woman, fair as the sun, terrible as an army with banners… I quailed inside as our vessel tied up, and shuddered silently as I thought of your presence. Had I known then what I know now, though, perhaps I would have been more circumspect. Perhaps I would have fled. But, alas for me, I did not.

Ah! But in those first moments, how sweet it was. Yes, it was, as so many affairs of the heart are, physical in those early days. You were hungry, my love, hungry for a man, and I wanted a woman. How could I have dreamt that I would find a queen! Your beautiful sisters welcomed us all to your island paradise: indeed, the members of the crew were treated royally. Such sumptuous meals! Such splendid exotic wines! We all became replete – indeed, I feared that some of the crew were growing so fat that I thought the ship would sink if they ever went aboard again.

I fell for you completely, sweetness. But you were hard, so very hard, to love. You were unfaithful to me – unfaithful with one of my own men. I could never understand that: indeed, when you pursued him into the bushes he seemed unwilling to betray me, his Captain – indeed, perhaps he even seemed afraid to do so. Perhaps he was afraid of you. You must have wanted him very badly, my love. His cries of passion seemed to go on far longer than I would have thought possible. Afterwards you returned to me, a contented smirk in your eyes and a tang of roast meat on your lips. He must have sated your appetite for love in a way I never could. I must confess I was horribly jealous of him and you together, and could hardly bring myself to look upon you. When I did, the next day, I found you gazing at me in a way that did not look like the look of love. You seemed to be merely appraising my body in a way that did not seem tender.

As time progressed I tried in vain to find the real you, but again I fear I failed. Do you remember how I tried to gain your confidence? How I so longed to be a real friend to you? Alas, my sweet, the words between us were few and far between. As I wrote in my diary, only a month ago: "She does not appear to want to learn my language properly. The only words she has learned are those for different cuts of meat. It is difficult to have a conversation with someone who only wants to say 'fillet', 'spare ribs' and 'rump steak', but I persist -- my love for her is deep, despite out cultural differences." I have never felt that you felt the same way.

I have been lonely, my darling. I have felt betrayed by my men, who silently sailed away into the night without me. I turned to you to fulfil me, but you were cold to me. You imprisoned me in a cage and I did not know why. You fed me, it is true, but I did not know why you kept me alive. I do not even think you ever wanted to know the real me.

Your hunger for me has never really ebbed, dear heart. I remember the look on your face that night when you tore my left buttock, with a single bite, from my quivering body, and the quizzical expression in your eyes as you held it, sparkling like a great ragged pearl in the moonlight, between your jaws. To my pitiful cries you merely grunted, my darling – but at the time I detected your remorse, and forgave you. But I think it was at that point that I began to understand, my sweet…

I wished I could have become truly a part of you, O Love of all my days, without the need for what I am about to do. I feel you never really accepted me. You seemed reluctant to accommodate my deeper feelings. You seemed to see me merely as an object, my love, an object to satisfy your desires. The way you prodded and pinched me as you chuckled and drooled left me unable to sleep for many days. But how could I tell you of this? I wanted you to love me as I loved you. The truth slowly dawned on me. I knew what I had to do. I realised the terrible course of action I had to take. I knew that finally I could become yours forever, to truly become a part of your inner being. By giving up my spirit from this earth I save our love… by giving myself to you I become whole.

I surrender myself to you completely, cara mia. My mind is yours. And now my body wil be yours too. I know this is what you want – I hope you do not mind that I, myself ,have chosen the moment when I give myself to you. This note will, I hope, explain all. But even if I have not succeeded in convincing you to love me, I hope that at least now your more earthly appetites will be fulfilled: if only for a short while.

If I cannot reach your heart, I can, at least, reach your stomach.

© Oliver Moor 2001

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