We're moving, I'm graduating, it's time to shovel out and organize and throw away bags of accumulated crap. I have a hard time throwing stuff away. Part of it is an obsessive need to have documentary evidence for everything, as overcompensation for the lack of recognition given to our household. Need proof we paid for electricity in March 2003? I've got it. (See also: frantic cleaning of the house before straight people visit. I've got hang-ups. Of course I do.)
But in amongst the boring things (taxes) and the sad things (angry letters from my dad) there are the sweet things. And so I present to you "Fruit in Bed," a very short story I wrote on March 16, 2001, a few months before I graduated college and a year and a day before FG and I got married. I don't remember exactly, but I think it's safe to say this is not very heavily fictionalized...
We lay in bed together in the dark. We weren't touching but I knew she wasn't asleep. Still, she'd said she was tired, so I shut my eyes and played the game that had often lulled me to sleep as a child--imagining myself on a small raft floating down a gentle river or in a calm bay.
The water thing just wasn't working that night. I opened my eyes again.
"Wouldn't it be cool to sleep on grapes?" I said.
"On what? Grates?"
I rolled onto my back. "No, grapes. Red grapes or whatever they used to make wine. Wouldn't it be cool to sleep on a huge pile of them?"
"No, that would be sticky," she said.
"And I guess they'd roll away. You'd need a vat, really, and you could sleep on top."
"But they'd break. I think that would be gross. Why not oranges or grapefruits?"
"Too hard. Picture how grapes would compress and bounce, like a perfect mattress. Oranges wouldn't do that. You need something soft," I said.
"Tomatoes, then," she suggested.
"Not that soft. Picture how the grapes would massage your back. Tomatoes wouldn't do that--they'd just mash down into a paste if you rolled. Mangoes maybe..."
"No," she said. "Too sticky again, plus that funny shape. You'd want symmetry. Kumquats." She sighed deeply and sleepily. I was feeling sleepy myself, imagining kumquats rocking me gently and supporting my slumber.
"Kumquats. Perfect," I said, and drifted off thinking: marriage will be great.