Saturday, January 27, 2007

Being Hungry

The novelist Hyakken Uchida ("Idiot Train", see the 29th December 2006 entry of this blog) was wont to say "being hungry is one of my favorite states". Hyakken used to be a well-known connoisseur of good food. When he says something like this, therefore, it certainly has a lot to do with sensuality rather than prudence.

Hyakken's custom was to have nothing to eat at all until supper, when he had loads of finest food sprayed out before him. He was fond of beer, sake, and other alcoholic pleasures. Cutting water was his favorite method of drawing the most pleasure out of the very first sip of beer.

The brain thrives on a well balanced contrast of presence and absence. Dopamine is known to be strongly released when something pleasant happens in an unexpected manner. A period of deprivation, followed by satisfaction, is certain to lead to a sensual pleasure. To contrive the highest sensual bliss, it is thus necessary to devise a period of absence.

Exceptions can be pleasurable from time to time, though. When Hyakken went on one of these "Idiot Train" trips, he would make exceptions and drink beer and have a sandwich at lunch time. The bitter-sweet sense of guilt would make the food and drink even more sensual for Hyakken.

What I write above has obvious implications for people trying to be on a diet. Fitting slim can be a consequence of seeking the ultimate sensuality. In theory, it is possible to have the figure of a model and immerse oneself in the culinary pleasure.

In this imperfect world, however, theory and practice often go separate ways. Hyakken was a well-built and rather overweight man.

No comments: