I will always love Paul. Ours was a love affair defined by bacon, pancakes and the moistest, most decadent chocolate brownie in town. I met him a few years ago at an outdoor yoga class. It turned out he read the food and wine column I used to write for The Miami Herald called “The Promiscuous Palate.” But Paul just didn’t offer you’re-such-a-great-writer feedback. If he didn’t get something I wrote, he let me know. I loved that about him. And he was a great writer. His emails would make even the most tawdry novelist, blush. He was a horny, old, gay man and he didn’t give a damn who knew it. But underneath the peace sign tattoos wreathed with age spots lied a lonely spirit. He wanted what we all want—to smell the fresh funk of day-old love making in his sheets, the sweet perfume of morning armpit welcoming the first morning stretch, burnt pumpernickel toast, and the security of love that is found and kept even when it leaves for the afternoon. His love never returned. Didn’t even leave a note. And I could see it hurt him, and while I never pitied my accomplished painter-mat buddy, it was hard to love him. Our relationship took a shift when he found out I was Christian. He didn’t approve, and he let me know that. It was either him or Jesus. Funny—Jesus never asked me to make that choice. I now enjoy my La Provence brownie by myself. The texture is like sticking your fingers into a velvety, black beach. It’s chocolate perfection. I miss you, Paul.
La Provence French Bakery & Café, 2200 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-8002.