The Pondering Grapefruit
a blog of moments
Today I ate some fresh mangoes. It had been a while since I had this fruit--I got it the other day from Market Basket. You could call it a splurge, an investment in happiness. It felt strange to eat them by myself and not with my family.
My family loves eating mangoes, especially those sweet ones that are super yellow on the outside and inside. If we're motivated enough, we would peel the skin and cut the mangoes into cubes. But oftentimes, each person would take their own mango and then eat cubed slices with the skin still on.
And my father, without fail, would repeat the same story every time about UNICEF in Vietnam. "We were so excited for them to come," he said, "and the whole village prepared fruit plates of watermelon, mangoes, grapes, all sorts of tropical fruits already cut and plated for them." My father usually dominates most of the dinner conversation. He's extroverted and likes to talk, and my mom and I are introverted and like to listen.
He continues, "The UNICEF workers saw the fruits and were very thankful, but ultimately denied the gifts, saying they could not eat that. What they did instead was ask for an uncut mango, and then pull out their knife. They cut off big slices and then cubed the interior, inverted the slice so that the cubes stuck out, and ate it. Like this!" He points to how we are currently eating. "Why did they do that? Well, it's because they didn't want to get sick from any dust that stuck to the cut fruit. This method is the cleanest." With that he finishes his mango with satisfaction.
My father has told that story enough times that today I could hear him as though he was standing right next to me. I ate the mangoes way he described in the story. They had been in the fridge, so they were perfectly chilled. The fruit was just ripe enough. Standing there in my tiny kitchen in Central Square, resting my elbows on the counter top as I savored the succulent, yellow flesh, I thought of my father, of his voice, how when people die their voice is one of the first things that fade from memory, and I thought of William Carlos William's plums, delicious, so sweet, and so cold.
About this Blog
I have no idea how to describe what my writing is about. I just write. I post when I can, which can be weekly or monthly depending on where the universe is taking me. As for the Grapefruit, my Vietnamese nickname, Buoi, means grapefruit.