It’s not the flesh of a pepper that’s hot. It’s the seeds. The lings’ potency penetrating every pore of our innards. Many of us only notice the effects that it’s having on our tastebuds. But, there is so much more going on inside of us when we decide to take it all in. Seeds and all.

William says that a pepper burns in three places. In the mouth, first. Secondly, in the stomach. And thirdly, in a blaze of glory on the way out. Heat is good, man. This conversation all started because I had some legitimately spicy chocolate. I shared a piece with William, and he sat spewing wisdom with a glimmer in his eyes.

Today, for my break, I initially sat down to eat alone but, to my surprise and delight, William came from around the corner and sat down with a smile. We’ve shared many a meal  during our synchronistic break periods. He was done being the porter for today, the most important job at our store. Taking out trash, cleaning up spills. Supplying utensils. All of the things that need to happen in order for anything to go down. Originally from Guyana, and having lived in New York for nine years prior to moving to North Carolina, William has had his fair share of spice in his life. A man who weaves about our spectrum with grace. Always thinking and feeling on this plane. Sharing with those whose ears are open and ready to listen.

I’ve lived in the USA throughout the entirety of my being, and I didn’t really eat many spicy foods growing up, but I have an extremely high tolerance to spice. It’s hard for me to find things, of which are labeled “spicy,” that are actually so. Which is why I was so excited about this chocolate.

Both of us savoring the initial dark chocolate taste, followed up by a steady heat of the pili pili chili.

It’s amazing to connect over chocolate and talk about peppers for 20 minutes. In this day and age, people seem to be moving too fast for things like that. But, not everybody.