Monday, November 17, 2008

Feeling sad, I went to a diner to meet a friend. The diner had only three walls. My friend wasn't there. A woman who looked very bored nodded in my direction from behind the counter. A family of people with very large heads, grotesque from their thoughts, got up to leave, completely ignoring their little girl who was rolling and kicking unhappily on the floor. The girl's head was also grotesque, much too large for her body. She jumped up and ran after the adults. My friend arrived just as they were leaving. "The thing about strawberries," he said to me, "is that they're wild. All you have to do is go out and pick them." In my mind I pictured long rows of commercially cultivated strawberries wet with dew, and how wet the workers' feet and pants and hands become when they pick them, especially in the morning. I knew my friend was aware of strawberry farms, and that he had, in fact, picked berries to earn money when he was in school. But I also knew he was right — strawberries really are wild, and will take over your backyard if you let them, and even take root in sidewalks, curbs, and streets. Strawberries, everywhere. Their color and scent. I thought, "Now, that's exactly what we need."

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