I like grapes.
No, strike that.
I love grapes.
And oh, what a cruel love it can be, because grapes are fickle, fragile things. The bag of red organic calling to you mysteriously goes soft and mushy once it’s in your fridge; the many grapes at the bottom of the bag, so promising when you bought it, are revealed as muddled and sopping and sad when you pop them into your mouth. But when you time it right–and when you’re gentle with them, coddling them from bag to sink to serving bowl–you get the best, healthiest, tastiest fruit snack on God’s green earth.
I recall sitting back on my heels in a Japanese vineyard, eyes dull and half-lidded, my face and hands awash in sticky juice. My movements were smooth and efficient: Pick grape. Peel grape. Devour grape. We paid to eat our fill for half an hour, and when we reached thirty-five minutes I was carrying a purloined–and rapidly shrinking–handful back to the tour bus. This, I thought to myself, is all I need forever.
For the time being, I will look sadly at my now-empty grapevine.
And know that next time I’m in the produce section, I get to fall in love all over again.
-Jim is getting the Halo junkie itch.