I've had really great experiences with this recipe. People always ask me for it and I tell them I can't give away my secret. But there was a problem with this night's peach. This peach sucked.
The skin felt rubbery, and when I bit in, I found a green and grainy peach, one with no flavor, edible only to the really desperate. It was par on course for the tasteless, over-priced peaches I've become used to in Minneapolis.
But this wasn't just any peach. I looked at it, a gash in the fruit from where I'd bitten, a medallion of flesh dangling from a couple threads of skin. And I felt such a surge of bother and worry, the same sort of feeling I get when my room's not clean and I know there must be something I can do to set things right, only I didn't know what to do. Here I was, my hundredth peach in hand, and it sucked, the peach of all peaches, the culmination of a summer's worth of eating.
And the feeling reminded me of how summer itself was slipping away. Now when I wake up and the mornings are gray as pencil shavings, I can't help but turn my sleepy mind towards the passing summer. And more than the heat or anything, I think about the sheer possibility in an American summer. The season whispers a promise both of laziness and growth. We get to slack off in our jobs, go on vacation, be free. But at the same time, we face a world wealthy with possibility and girls in swim suits. While we've toiled all winter, now we get to harvest, now we get to eat.
But now - it's no longer summer. Winter will soon be here, the girls will put away their camisoles and bundle themselves up. We'll forget the barbeques, the beers; we'll forget the holidays; we'll watch the snow and wait until Christmas.
And here I am, with a bad peach.
Look at the photo above. Notice how the flesh looks a bit dull. That's not a trick of the light - in real life, the peach looked almost ashen. And tasted that way. And look at my poor face! This was one bad peach.
I wanted to be angry. I wanted to be able to blame somebody. But the worst part was that I couldn't do any of that. I could only sit there, feeling like I had lost out, that I had finally gotten invited to the biggest, coolest party ever and I'd left at two or three in the morning after hanging out awkwardly on the sidelines, knowing that I was out of place - that I didn't belong.
So that's it, my hundredth peach. A success of sort.
So keep your eyes open because soon I'll be posting a little peach retrospective, and give some clues about what will happen to this blog now that the peach project is finished. And thanks for sticking with me for this long!