A co-contributor’s note

by theoystermangrove

The oyster, last weekend I ate a few raw ones, wondering what it meant to be the ocean’s filter. They were delicious and snotty, I suppose (if I was a master of metaphor) I could compare eating them to the last crying-jag after a break-up. Salty, but savory, the eater of such delicacies is always left sucking air with open eyes.

Anyway, in all honest reality, I can give only one good oyster anecdote. Three summers ago, I was working as a waitress at a modest bistro in a southern college town. It was a late lunch, I was tired and serving my final 6-top before leaving for the afternoon. I brought the food and returned 5 minutes later to a ruddy-faced-glare. “Excuse me, um, what is THIS” the customer opened a fist shaking with anger. I saw a glinting white thing, tooth-shaped and half covered in the evidence of deep-fried corn meal, the leavings of an oyster po’boy. For a moment, I think that it is indeed a tooth, a fucking tooth. My mind begins to deflect the potential lawsuit.

Suddenly, we both realize that it is a pearl. An actual pearl, the survivor of aquaculture, packaging, cornmeal, and the deep fryer. In my mind, there is no better metaphor for expression, true beauty always survives.

-Amanda-Gaye Smith