Excited chatter bubbles all around me, confusing yet happy noise filled with laughter and excitement. Voices of all ages, tones and depth, greeting each other, giving introductions about themselves and how they came to be here.
All I can think about is the cheese.
A beautifully laid platter of a pungent blue, a large wedge of brie, spreadable cream cheese and a selection of crackers taunting me from its position just out of reach. So close, yet so far.
The afghans and savoury muffin bites were a hit, barely landing on the table before hands eargerly reached across to grab them and yet the mouthwatering cheese remains untouched.
No one would notice if I succumbed to temptation, but I don’t want to be first. What on earth would people think if I just got up and helped myself! It’s bad enough that I’m just sitting quietly amongst the group but at least this way I can pretend I’m invisible, jot down notes in my journal, pretend I’m preparing for the class.
What if I stumble as I approach the cheese, get in someones’ way, drop it on them, or worse, what if I can’t stop at one piece? Let’s face it, when it comes to cheese, who can have just a little bit?
Thoughts of all the different outcomes swirl through my brain, each scenario worse than the last. No. Better to wait it out. I can’t be the first to eat the cheese, because, what if I’m also the last.
First day nerves dont seem to be affecting this group. Conversations flow amongst strangers, as if they were not strangers at all, but old friends reunited, all the while oblivious to the flavour delights they could be experiencing if someone would just pick up that damn knife, slice off a soft peice of cheese, pair it with a cracker and put it in their mouth! It’s cheese! Cheese people! What on earth is holding everyone back!
For me, it’s all come down to this moment.
I’ve been patiently waiting for this day for a long time, emotions of all ranges, nerves, curiosity, apprehension and excitement flowing through me daily as I thought about this class and what it could bring.
Of course anxiety was always at the forefront of my mind. It seems funny now that all those months of worrying about blundering through my first day, producing terrible pieces and not being good enough have been reduced to irrelevant by a simple plate of cheese.