She went shopping.
I was placed in the basket, chosen from the “dark, existential organic” section. I was happy to be plucked from the pile of picked over, disheveled fruits. She knew the perfect recipe to prepare me as the best midnight snack.
Not avocado. Not acai. Not coconut water. Not the latest trendy vegetable among young, neat, metro-millennials. But a delicious snack, nonetheless.
She took her goods to the checkout line and I was put in a brown paper bag next to makeshift anti-depressants and a good time.
She got home and organized her produce accordingly. The other items were immediately stored in their appropriate places, the art, the wine, and the gay boys.
I was left sitting on the counter to be promptly consumed. She cut me in half, tangy, dark juice splattering the countertop. She threw the peels in the trash and tossed the seeds in the sink.
She knew exactly how to enjoy this dank, savory, fruit. I was tossed in the blender with other delicacies, smushed against iPhone apps, Netflix series, Tinder, and frozen Acai.
The blender flicked on and in seconds, we were the latest craze. She drank the beverage, every sip. She sipped and slurped the tart, tangy beverage enjoying every drop until it was all gone, nothing saved for a post-workout snack, the remnants of who I was stained against the blender bowl.
I was ripe and in season and was the perfect time to be picked and consumed. She was expecting a simple fruit, a light snack. What she got was a poignant fruit that only few can enjoy.
The girl didn’t know what she was getting when she went to that grocery store, they rarely do. We are a rare strain, this crop. We tried as hard as we could to be the best tasting produce she’d ever had, faithfully sprouting up whenever we felt the sunshine hit our backs.
We realized too soon that we would never be the sweet tasting fruit like the millions of other types that exist.
We are an acquired taste. We grow best when it rains the hardest. We gain our strength and extend our branches in the dead of winter and the darkest nights. We wilt under too much sunlight, taking only what we need from the relentless rays. We are a nutrient-dependent crop, sucking minerals and nutrients from the soil in large doses, leaving the ground scorched and barren.
Most people have no idea what they’re getting themselves into when they unknowingly pluck us from the branches.
We are taken to curbside fruit stands only to be poked and prodded, picked up and put back down. We rot and fester but never die, filling trashcans outside of libraries and local parks with the stench of existential angst that makes one pause. We are to be boiled, blended, or eaten raw. But never mixed and eaten in salads.
We don’t play well with others.
We are highly concentrated. Juice us if you’d like but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Roast us and grind our beans into dust and steep us in boiling water to drink as your morning wakeup call as you take sips and long strides to catch the train.
Don’t eat us to cure a sickness or get over a cold. We can’t cure you. When eaten, you discover just how sick you already are. Let this fruit sit and ferment and let the world drink our sour, intoxicating revelations, becoming drunk on the thoughts and pangs of what the world tries to hide from.
We bring your tastebuds a flavor it wants so badly to stifle but can’t get enough of. Garnish us raw next to an exquisite seafood dish, placing us delicately against dead creatures that were extracted from the very depths we thrive in.
Oh, the irony.
Once you’ve consumed this fruit to your liking, build a compost heap out of what is left of us and everything you thought we were. We will fertilize the dirt to feed plants that are far sweeter than us, pleasing to the sight, pleasant to the taste.
The girl had no idea what she was putting in that brown bag, they rarely do. We’re an acquired taste, this dark fruit. So much so that we were a one time purchase. It turns out there are far more sweeter, addicting fruits for her to enjoy. We’re too far into the fields.