17 June 2009


I'm not sure how any of you eat mangoes, but I start with my freshly washed mango (devoid of the produce sticker, of course) and a paring knife. I begin to slice off sections of the fruit, eating the flesh and discarding the skin, much as one eats artichoke (Disclaimer: Do not eat whole artichoke. Gross.)

I then remember the days of yore, when no one north of the equator had seen a mango. I remember the Persian shah, the Indian king, sitting in lush, ivory courtyards, waited upon by scores of servants, hand-fed mango and other jungle fruits, perhaps enjoying ice collected personally for him, brought from the ice caps of the Himalayas by long trek and arduous journey.

This is all well and good. But I am not a desert king of old. I'm some kid who, by this point, has eschewed his knife and is now plunging face first into the fruit he bought for a dollar fifty at the Giant Eagle. The mango dripping nectar like blood, it's soon on my hands, my face, down my neck. I'm ravenous. Devouring. It doesn't even matter if people are watching anymore, but if they are, the men look upon me with disdain, the women shriek, the children flee. The only purpose I have is to consume.

And so I do. Until there is in my hands nothing but the pit. And, every single time, I consider planting it, so that I may have a mango tree in my backyard. And then I realize that I live in Ohio; those don't grow here. I toss it away and go about my day.

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