The Chocolate Drawer
"Your heart is like your Chocolate Drawer . . ."
"Your heart is just like your Chocolate Drawer," my friend remarks in passing while nosing around my kitchen. I nod my head in the direction of her affections. Her eyes light up; she stops crying.
I pour two fresh cups of chocolate flavored decaf. My dear friend, half heartbroken half relieved, showed up unannounced before dawn. Still in sweats, practicing Yoga with Steven Ross on cable, I answered the door to a tear-stained face seeking solace and comfort.
With a hug and an arm around her shoulder I welcomed her into the sanctuary I call home. I am a Life Skills Coach. With thousands of life-affirming-tools at my disposal, there is one that rarely fails: The Chocolate Drawer. I use it myself. At 5' 3" and 120 pounds I alone probably consume twice my weight in any given year. My clients, friends and loved ones use it even more and easily triple that amount.
I hand my friend a piping hot mug but her eyes linger on the milk chocolate See's rum nougats. "Help yourself," I offer genuinely. I silently thank the Wild-Divine for small blessings and the power to resist one of my favorites. This time anyway.
Everyone who enters my safe haven is free to try, taste, nibble, eat, gobble, scoff, wolf, gorge, feast, munch, chomp, partake, consume, devour AND take as much as they desire from The Chocolate Drawer. There is only one caveat.
For me, chocolate is an indispensable Life Skills tool. When I am training for an event, the Chocolate Drawer expands into a full Chocolate Cupboard. Around the Holidays, it dwindles down to just a Hershey bar or two. When I am stressed, even the dark brown glove compartment of my old Mercedes is pressed into cocolate-service. As are the pockets of my business suits. And my Day-Timer.
My friend lovingly passes her finger above her favorites, in silent reverence, as though recalling passionate temptations and forbidden pleasures. Tears well up in her eyes again, she blows her nose. We all abide by the Chocolate Honor System; you touch it, you take it.
"What do you mean?" I ask just before popping a large extra dark chocolate covered cherry into my mouth from a bowl on the counter. I love this friend every bit as much as I love the brown-divine, but wasn't sure I wanted my heart compared to a drawer.
Ignoring my question she asks, "Where ELSE are you hiding the goods?" My closest friends have developed this shorthand question for deciphering what's going on in my life. In truth, they know everything, but the clues are even more fun. When I have a lover, another cocoa-stash surreptitiously finds its way into my boudoir. When I write full time (sans lover) a big bowl of dark chocolate peanut M&M's can be found next to my computer. When I plan a dinner party, every room is graced with wrapped angelic-confections somewhere. Yes, even the bathrooms.
"Here and there," I reply casually, knowing the drill.
"Spill it," my friend commands, nicely, finally settling on a handful of imported Belgium chocolate covered espresso beans. Her sniffling has stopped.
"Tell me about your heart-drawer theory," I rejoin while adding carob soy to the steaming java.
"Not heart-drawer," she chuckles, smiling broadly for the first time, "heart-chocolate."
Okay, I like the sound of that better.
We settle into elegant over-stuffed couches lined with down pillows surrounded by boxes of Kleenex. Although I have a perfectly appointed coaching office, it is my family room that seems to comfort most. My friend kicks off her shoes, tucks her feet under her, arranges the pillows into a cocoon, wraps a nearby shawl around her shoulders and settles in with her coffee and chocolate. "What brings you here before the sun even rises?" I ask softly.
"Life," she says as she exhales with exasperation and looks off into the distance. I know we are going to be here for awhile.
(copyright Sapphire Grace, all rights reserved)
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