In two days, summer will be gone. We already have said goodbye to the warmth, really, unpacked our books and sweaters, and buttoned up to more serious things than a flip-flop and an ice cream bar. Team-building meetings have been organized in offices all across the land, an apple for the teacher, and even on those warm days, we don’t sneak out the way we might have even a month ago. We pick apples on the weekends, now, on our days off, as though we never once considered the lush, the gorgeous dripping.
I ate a pear today.
I have forgotten so much in this month, long beyond the ripe peach, hot sun, top down splendor of it all, But then, there do remain a few fruits beyond the apple.
It was hard on the outside, so I didn’t expect much. Expected, perhaps, the sort of gritty, acidic bite that is all so pear-like, sort of crunchy and green, and not bad, but also sort of a duty, like flossing, and healthy eating.
This was a pear, the type that tastes like a memory… of what?
of the sorbet in that restaurant–you remember, don’t you?–the pear sorbet at Jasper’s, 1992, that elegant distillation of a pear, after the pan-roasted lobster– “Go ahead, you must have the lobster,” my then-future, now-ex mother-in-law told me, then, when she wanted me to marry her stepson. It was perfect. Lobster was perfect, enhanced with the chervil, yes. Pear was perfect… but a fabrication, the very essence of pear without the fruit. It was hard not to be seduced by the artistry. But it was only flattery of the fruit then, oh so long ago.
Today, I bit into the pear, and was stunned by the sweetness, the roundness of the flavor, intense and flowing, soft inside, and perfect, just as it is.
I cut off a slice and ran to my co-worker: you have to have this!, I said.
She smiled, said, it should be on top a pork roast. And I imagined the crust of fat, salted, the pear then golden with it.
It made me forget the sorbet, and the apples, not to disaparage the apple. I’ll take the pear today, the middle sister, the pretty one, fragrant and quiet.