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Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
Amtrack station, Dunsmuir, California

August 16th, 2003

On My Counter?
Last week I went by the farmer's market under the freeway as I was walking home from breakfast, a brief detour of maybe fifty feet beyond my normal route, and bought peaches, thinking, well, maybe I could eat them for lunch and bring my weekends and diet into balance. My diet, you understand, being spotty since the operation in November, having added almost ten pounds. And peaches. Hey, how can you go wrong with peaches? Nice, safe and politically correct for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and lunch, anyway. For dinner you want something that was once part of a living animal burned over fire, hence my decision to switch to whiskey. Breakfast, lunch and whiskey, the three major food groups at the base of the American food pyramid.

So walking home from breakfast this morning I again detoured into the Saturday farmer's market, but this time I ventured farther inside instead of hitting the first stall selling peaches. I passed other stalls charging from $1.50 to $2.50 a pound. I assume some were more organic than others, some riper, some fresher, some, each and every one, kissed by the lips of a beautiful woman. You've got to pay more for a peach that's been kissed by the lips of a beautiful woman, even I know that.

So I made a decision, and, as I was waiting to pay for my self selected bag of what I'm pretty sure were peaches, an old couple comes scooting along, the guy squeezing the peaches and the plums in a quick practiced manner before exchanging a knowing remark with his wife in Italian. Italian, I'm thinking, an old Italian couple, straight off the farm. I'm seeing a small farm in Italy, Sophia Loren walking barefoot along a road, a hard working young couple pinching a peach and exchanging knowing glances. They'd still be pinching their peaches on their farm if it hadn't been for Hitler and Mussolini. They know their peaches, I know they know their peaches and they've evidently given a thumbs down to the peaches I'm standing in line waiting to buy.

Could they be too hard? Hefting one, I'm realizing in selecting an edible peach you might not use the same criteria you'd use in selecting a baseball, for example, running your fingers along the seam, hefting the thing, thinking you could chuck this sucker across the plate with a nice breaking curve, what with it being lopsided and out of balance and all fuzzy. Perhaps baseballs and peaches have less in common than I thought, not having eaten a baseball, not having pitched a peach.

The old couple disappeared into the crowd as quickly as they had arrived and I did not see on which fruit stand they finally settled. Perhaps they had their own fruit stand up the way and were out checking the competition. Maybe their comments had been more along the lines of "Shit! These are the real deal! These people will never buy those rocks we're selling!", but I doubt it. Still, hard or soft, sweet or sour, they're good for you, right, sitting as they are in a plastic bag on my counter?.

A photograph taken at the Amtrack station in Dunsmuir, California.