Text of Audio
Almandine Audio: Fruit Laden Summer’s evenings July 2015
The summer’s heat of Saturday afternoon made me drowsy, I just laid around read, and couldn’t concentrate on any ‘should dos’, so just kept refilling my glass with ice cubes and mineral water.
We’d gone out at sunset on Friday night; Art with a wooden ladder slung over his shoulder holding my hand, while my other hand held my grown son’s. We were headed towards Libby’s cherry trees up by the library, but those cherries were past their prime, the sky now turning first pinks. So, we went down to Joseph and Liesel's neighbor’s house, whose cherry tree was still loaded. It was almost 9 pm when Art banged on the door to get permission to pick. I was embarrassed, and wander out into the football field, watching the sky darken to a blush. No one answered the door, so we’d turned to go, when the door opened and the poor man confused in his underwear and t-shirt, looked out with a scowl. When we told him that we just wanted cherries, he was gracious. “Yes, yes pick the whole tree, they’re just about done.” They were delicious. Art stood on the ladder’s top rung, while my son, Pan pulled down high branches for me to pick. We walked home with our basket more than half full, the sky now Bing Cherry red.
When Saturday finally cooled, and the evening breezes began Art dug our bikes out from the shed, and pumped up our tires. Me, on a one-speed Schwinn with a front basket, and he with a thick-tire mountain bike that looked too small for his six-foot frame.
I rode up and down our street, while waiting for him to finish pumping up his tires. I swerved in and out, in a curvy ‘S’ pattern. I was back to being 8 or 9, on the streets of my childhood, feeling the power of wheels and wind. Finally, we started off, and wove through the Uptown blocks, past churches and shops, into neighborhoods, until we could look out to the sea and mountains. I knew where I wanted to go, and he followed. I took us to an abandoned lot where two walnut trees hung heavy with nuts.
Then it was his turn, and he took us to a friend’s golden plum off of ‘F’ street. We rode towards the sunset, and parked our bikes under the tree. Both of us plucking, and slurping up plums, letting the juices run onto the ground, hands sticky. Plum heaven, plum sweet, with the bitter edge of plum skin. As we ate the fruit straight from the tree I said, “ Isn’t it good when we both agree that our idea of a really fine time is riding our bikes around, and looking for ripe fruit?” He nodded and kept eating.
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