The other day my mom sent me a photo of a basket of peaches.
I want to be that basket of peaches.
I want to be the prickly, sweet way that they smell. I want to be the juice that seeps through the corners of the dry, crinkle sound of the paper bag that first housed them on the side of a two-lane road somewhere between Fredericksburg and Austin. Bluebonnets long since faded and replaced by green that won’t be brown until August…on a good year.
I want to climb inside the basket and feel how they’re both scratchy and soft at the same time. Like the little pig I once named Wilber…before I really understood what happens to Wilber.
I want to walk into HEB and pass right by the Georgia peaches that sit there in that big, wooden, less-expensive crate with the bright yellow sign that says, “Buy me because I’m cheaper!” and go straight for the smaller ones in the less visible display next to the limes and lemons.
Sure they’re smaller. Bring it on! Don’t Mess With Texas.
When you pick them up in your palm you already know they’re just right without even giving them a gentle squeeze. There’s always a stack of lunch sacks waiting just right on top or maybe sometimes in that little wooden holder.
Do they bring that holder out just for peach season?
Who would put peaches in a plastic bag?
Who would call tortillas, soft tacos?
Who drives by Dairy Queen without stopping for a Blizzard (small, extra Heath)?
But back to the peaches.
I want to hold the fruit in my hand and gently turn the knife around and around along the middle, making a meridian. Lots of meridians to cross between here and home. Lots of lines. This one in the peaches is perfect.
I want to be that moment, after the knife, when if it’s just the right peach, on just the right day (which is always June), at just the right time (which is always 3:00 in the afternoon) when you hold each side and twist. Snap. Not quite a snap though. More like a deep, just-waiting-to-give release.
And now it’s two sides. Eat one. Slice the other. Peel or no. That part’s up to the consumer.
I want to be those peaches because in them there are so many memories. It’s like if I become them, crawl inside and live from them all the things that seemed so simple are still there.
Time stands still in those peaches.