The sun is in its afternoon slump. Soon we will begin the dressing process. The Bormeas’ evening activities will culminate with the nightly banquet feast. I have not been here that long and already I have grown weary of the banquets. Meal times with the Bormeas is an exercise in wits and strength. This time in the evening is not for displaying care for one another but instead is for displaying one’s possessions in an attempt to outdo others.
On my first evening with the Bormeas, Carnesol led me out to the courtyard in the center of the vast box-like compound. Flat rocks, imbedded into the ground, created specific pathways to the banquet area as well as other points of interest in the space. Small lanterns hung from posts throughout the eating area, providing just enough light to see without being intensely bright. In the center of the space was a long, low slung table which featured so many short, squat legs to support its length and width that it appeared to be a many-legged creature with a flat back. Gathered around the table were comparably low chairs that curved to one side, allowing the occupant to recline while eating.
Where one sits depends on the Esteemed and his current mood. To sit close to him is to be subject to his brutality and selfishness throughout the meal as the close proximity allows him to steal food off others’ plates. To sit afar off from him is either a sign of some level of trust or ambivalence.
There is no gentle talk and conversation during meal times as with the Caysas. Even though the table is heaped with food, the Bormeas grab and fight over everything as though there is very little to be had. The Bormeas do not use utensils when eating, instead they rely on their claws and teeth to rip and tear their food apart.
The food itself tastes … different and there is a large variety of food from which to eat at every evening meal. As I watched the Bormeas gorging themselves that evening, I began to understand their physical makeup better and how it made them behave as they do. Their many pointed teeth, which they use to tear flesh from bone, show their true horrific nature hidden within. Their gaping mouths and wide throats allow for ingesting chunks of food without much chewing, providing the reason for only one meal a day as it takes so long to digest. They also demand so much from those around them in such short order that they can’t make use of everything they receive.
The meal is over when the Esteemed has enough, thus making for a feeding frenzy among the other Bormeas when food is available. At the end, the mess and remaining food is left for the servants to clean up in preparation for the next banquet. I found out later from Osc that the scraps are what the servants have to share among themselves and their families for their own meals. Not knowing what is ample quantity, I don’t know if what is left is a lot or little.
The banquet was served in courses instead of all at once as Bormeas did not pass around food to be shared. My initial presence at their banquet was celebrated with a special dish prepared in my honor – skinned nungies boiled in their mother’s milk. While I looked at it, wondering if I could stomach eating it, some of the Bormeas chuckled, wondering aloud whether the nungies had either been bred to die or had been taken from a trader as payment.