Oysters

By Mailer, Danielle | The Mailer Review, Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

Oysters


Mailer, Danielle, The Mailer Review


DESPITE MY FATHER'S IMPATIENCE with the language of pop culture, I would venture, albeit timidly, to call him, a "Foodie." From his pot roast fixation to his jelly omelet, his tastes were nothing if not eccentric. His love for Hershey's chocolate, his distrust of garlic, he carried to the end. But in his last months, nothing gave him more culinary pleasure than the unlikely delicacy, the oyster.

Holding tightly to his family, a handful of friends, and his poker game, his decline had turned his days uncomplicated. Often he would sit for hours, a dark silhouette against the backdrop of the sea, studying the social hierarchy of the seagulls. His movie star blue eyes were now more reminiscent of the pale color of the Provincetown bay. His body, grown thin, was camouflaged just barely by what had become his attire for every occasion: Uggs, blue sweats and a polar fleece vest. My husband, Peter, and I would make the long trip to visit and were rewarded with his pure delight, and a promise for an oyster dinner.

Navigating the terrain from house to restaurant all but did him in. Thankfully though, cocooned in a corner booth, revived by a whiskey sour and a bosomy waitress, he found his second wind. We spoke of politics, family gossip, and his work. When the oysters arrived, my husband and father conspiratorially downed the slippery creatures extolling their virtues, as aphrodisiac, perfect protein, brain food. …

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