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E D Detetcheverrie

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The Great Teen Fruit War, A 1960 Novel
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Writing Exercise: Eating An Apple
by E D Detetcheverrie   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, December 30, 2006
Posted: Saturday, December 30, 2006

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An imaginary experience in writing.

There's a large glass mixing bowl on the counter, and it holds five of the biggest, darkest apples I could find. My favorite color is black, so when I peruse the pile of Red Delicious, I always go for the ones with nearly black skin—the ones the color of very dark red roses.

I select one from the top, note its firmness and heft. These apples are quite top-heavy, shaped somewhat like characatures of rather burly, strapping men; very full on top and tapering to considerably more slender bottoms. The fruit is unyielding to my touch, smooth, and neither overly heavy for its size nor light. As I draw it nearer my face, I sight the tiny brown specks I've been told indicate sugar content: the more, the sweeter the fruit. If I scrape at them with my thumbnail, I can just barely perceive they have slightly raised, dry edges. The stem is withered and blackened and curved. There are no dry remnants of leaves to contend with.

Before I bite, I rest the orb lightly against my upper lip and nose, then breathe in deeply, filling my lungs and mind with sweet aroma. There's a hint of dry woodsiness like an afterthought to the initial sweet, fruity scent. The skin feels good and cool against my own skin: I nuzzle the apple playfully—teasing it before its destruction commences.

I part my lips and rest the cleaving edges of my front teeth against the almost plasticky skin. Feeling sensuous, I tickle the slick surface between my teeth with the firm tip of my tongue, and again that whisper of woodsiness beckons me while I detect a not quite unpleasant bitterness from the dark red skin itself. Like a lover, I tilt my head slightly to one side, part my lips further and sink my teeth in. There's a brief resistance broken by a staccato hollow sound as my teeth meet sweet flesh and the freed juices bleed from the fresh wound and escape my pressing lips. I suck gently as I draw the first bite in with the aid of my tongue. The flesh is crisp, but submits easily from the pressure of my teeth, with a sound I can hear in my head like someone haltingly dragging something heavy along the wet sand of a beach. Before I have chewed it all to nothing, I have turned the apple and am attacking it again, breaking the tough, but thin skin which feels momentarily like stiff, waxed paper against the soft inner surfaces of my mouth. Juice trickles down my chin and I wipe at it absently with a sleeve.

As a child, I found apples cumbersome to enjoy, and often left them only half eaten in a wad of sticky paper napkin. Now I could devour more than one at a go if I wanted, so the fruit disappears swiftly, in large chunks, as I grip by its poles and rotate it, trying to avoid the almost sharp, not quite yellow bits which make up its protective seed cases. I expose a few seeds in my haste. Ignore what feels rather like a thin bit of fingernail between my molars, which I recognize as a bit of seed casing. Now the once plump apple has developed more of an hourglass figure in my hand; but see how the seed-filled center remains swollen and the mushroom-shaped blooms of the leftover top and bottom are attached only fragilely.

I nibble more conscientiously, tasting the rapidly browning edges of my own bite-marks around the core, whittling down the umbrella-like top and bottom remains. I turn what's left this way and that for inspection, decide I am satisfied, and head for the door toward the nearest macaw cage, preferring to share what's left with one of the birds than leave it in the trash bin to rot and become contaminated by God-knows-what in a landfill.

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