I guess apricots have the ability to make me cry.
I have an overly romanticized relationship with most of the sweet and fleshy produce that I tend to consume. Mangoes remind me of cross-legged evenings in my older cousin’s house, giggling as he attempted to keep my plate full, trying to cut the brilliant red and yellow ovals faster than I ate them. He made sure to slice them with the peel on, making the entire activity fun-I would slowly push the fruit off of the peel with my tongue, then graze the leftover pulp with my bottom teeth and spend the rest of the night picking out the fibers from in between my teeth. Finally, he would give me the seed and I would try carefully and delicately to eat it over the sink, but the fruit juice always ended up running down the sides of my arms to my elbows.
Actually, most of the time, eating fruit is a family affair. Cherries, papaya, and watermelon are a must after a hearty summer dinner. Bananas are always a morning fruit, eaten with peanut butter or blended with milk and ice into a shake. Apples and strawberries are eaten during dinner, sliced into savory and fresh salads. Every bite expects a murmur of delight, a comment on its sweetness, color, or texture.
So last night, all alone at 1 am, when I picked up three apricots and pushed them open gently with my thumb, I can understand what washed over me. There is usually something quite lonely about eating alone, but this felt more quiet and solid than anything. Like it was supposed to happen solo.
They were so sweet and so bright I couldn’t believe it. I earnestly ate each half and I could feel my chest ache at the brilliance of these golden pods. It’s rare that I witness something so perfect that physical shivers run through my body. It’s been a while, and apathy has recently found a home in my chest. A cool breeze through the window caressed my hair when I finished the fruit, and tears sprung to my eyes as my body realized what it had missed so much.