S h o r t   F i c t i o n  /  E s s a y s

 

"Try some!"

 

When I started my trek up the hill last night it was already five o'clock, but I wanted to get some exercise before the sun was completely gone. Warm pastels washed the western sky while the east grew a constantly deeper blue. The air was warm, close and intimate, and overhead a thin, bright slice of moon

stamped the early evening sky.

By the time I got to the top of the hill the light was fading, but as I approached Cate and Yoshi's orchard, I noticed that there was indeed something in the giveaway box out front, something smallish and round... actually, quite a few of the little things, whatever they were. When I got close enough I could see that they were labeled with a little handwritten sign: Hawaiian guava. I picked one up. It had a pale yellowish skin and smelled spicily fragrant, different but pleasant. So I selected two of the small fruits and went on my way.

As I climbed the last rise, I nibbled on one of them, which was unlike anything I'd ever tasted before. The closest I could get is to say that it tasted like a cross between an Asian pear and a loquat (for any of you who may actually have eaten loquats) with a gingery highlight. 'Yoshi,' I thought as I started down Anacapa, 'you're expanding my fruit horizons.'

And indeed he does. Two days ago the giveaway box held small plastic sandwich bags filled with what looked like miniature oranges about an inch in diameter. 'Oriental lemon' said the little note at the back of the box. 'Try some' it added with a gentle nudge. Yoshi knows which fruits (like persimmons) will be unfamiliar to most passersby and adds a 'try some', or jots down basic instructions on preparation to coax potential fruit-takers to courage and adventure.

At home, the second guava was deposited into the fruit bowl where it proceeded to scent the kitchen. "What's that smell?" Aaron asked when he came through, pausing in interest. "Hawaiian guava," I replied, pointing to the yellowish little fruit in the bowl. "It's good." I paused and smiled. "Try some."
 

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