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Pining Over Apples

December 19th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   Fearless it was.  Covered on all ends with a stubbly patched but thorn-riddled coat, intricately yet thickly woven, it was protected, shielded, nothing could harm it.  Its smooth, lumpy coat, designed with elaborate earthly brown patches and forest-green rings, provided its camouflage to hide it amidst the wilderness.  Scattered about its coat, finely embroidered, leaf-like blades stood dangerously perked, ready to defend and retaliate.  Tall and proud it stood, towering over the fellow fruits, a frizzy batch of foliage attached sleazily about its top to further boost its height.  How strong it must have felt, ready to face the harshest of treatment, the worst of cruelty.

   How wrong it was.  With a heavy thud, it crashed and rolled about the tabletop, helpless on its side, rolling hopelessly without an end.  With a simple plunge of the knife, blade delving deep, the coat was split.  Restrained by nothing more than my bare hands, the leafy blades were useless; the armor was futile.  The knife came down again.  Plunge after plunge brought more and more satisfaction.  A luscious, sweet scent pummeled in the air as I carved feverously, carving until nothing remained of a once proud fruit except an assortment of glossy, golden-yellow triangles, trickling with sparkling, sweet yet tangy juices.  The head, with its bushy, green stem, I tossed aside  The pineapple was mine.

   To indulge a slice of pineapple was to indulge into a moment of heaven.  Each slice was unique, composed of delicate threads extending from the tough, solid base to the soft, succulent tip, threads so delicate they easily broke apart once in the mouth.  One could bite into the very tip and never feel resistance to the teeth.  Instead, one would experience an outpour of soothingly cold, refreshing juices, a flood of tantalizing elixir both mildly sweet and mildly sour, a mix impossible to imagine without firsthand experience.  The slice itself, drenched in its own juices, would seemingly melt away in the mouth, leaving a stinging sensation on the tongue or a burning sore on the lips.  The pain was but a reminder of the taste, a mark, an insignia of the pineapple; one would not even account for it until the end of the frenzy.  With the first slice gone, one would instinctively reach for the next, and the next, suckling away at each slice like a maddened bee craving for nectar from a flower.  To leave any bit of pineapple left still clinging to the base was a crime, a sin, an insult to God.

   From the earliest of memories, no fruit was ever held more prominent, no fruit more temptatious, no fruit more majestic, no fruit like the pineapple.  As far back as the first day of school, these delicious, watery morsels were served as a symbol of trust and sincerity.  In festivals and special occasions, fresh, thinly cut slices would pile in rows along the serving trays.  During trips and busy events, they would come precut in cool, generous chunks.  Even when ill with the flu or common cold, throat already sore and hollow, it was impossible to refuse an offering of pineapples; to refuse a plate of pineapples only meant suffering at the sight of someone other than one’s self wolfing them down.  It did not matter if every bite, every rejuvenating mouthful, tore and clawed at my throat, if after every stinging bite my dry lips bled.  The pineapple was everything.  The pineapple was the meaning of life itself.  To refuse the pineapple is to refuse life and deserve death.
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