Everything was different now. Everything.
I'd not only survived - I'd enjoyed.
This I knew, was the magic I had until now been only dimly and spitefully aware of. I was hooked. My parents' shudders, my little brother's expression of unrestrained revulsion and amazement only reinforced the sense that I had, somehow, become a man. I had had an adventure, tasted forbidden fruit, and everything that followed in my life - the food, the long and often stupid and self-destructive chase for the next thing, whether it was drugs or sex or some other new sensation - would all stem from this moment.
I'd learned something. Viscerally, instinctively, spiritually even in some small, precursive way, sexually - and there was no turning back. The genie was out of the bottle. My life as a cook, and as a chef, had begun.
Food had power.