Monday, December 3, 2007

More Urban Jungle Shit

My Dear Readership, this might be a little rudimentary. I apologize. I do not apologize for, nay, do not even acknowledge whatever factual errors you may think you've found. "But pineapples don't grow on trees, Al!" Poppycock! My daydreams err not, and I err not in reporting them!

Al let out a little laughing yelp as he released himself from the tree. He swung his legs a bit, as if running in the air, then deftly braced himself for the landing. Hit the ground rolling into a somersault and then to his feet, presenting in his outstretched arms a pineapple. He paused to stare out at the sky, across the endless ocean. Just for a second now, the sky would be there the next day, too. He twisted the leaves off, discarded them, and drew a long, curved knife from a sheath at his hip.

Al peeked into the kitchenshit drawer. No, not in there. Surveyed the pile of dishes next to the sink that he'd been reusing for the past few weeks. Nope. He went over to the dark red drainboard (one of the better purchasing decisions he'd made in recent years), lifted up a skillet and a baking pan, and again came up empty. Ha, he was in an apartment in Chicago in December. Now the light from the setting sun was going to cast a shadow of his body, chiseled from years of swimming in the ocean and swinging up and down from trees, long across the beach. The traitorous yellow star had dipped below the sprawl on the western horizon more than an hour before he'd left work. The dishwasher. Top shelf. Eureka, choppin' knife! He sliced through the pineapple longitudinally, placed each half down flush against the dark red cutting board, then cut each half longitudinally also. He wondered if the dishwasher was clean.

Al continued making his lengthwise cuts until he bored of it, and then began cutting the rind off of each slice, and dividing each into slightly-larger-than-bite-size pieces. Al always chopped things a little coarser than most people did. He attributed this to laziness and low standards. The pineapple pieces piled high on a blue plate behind the cutting board. Al stopped to think in the middle of the process. He first thought that it was a lot of pineapple. Next that he could all of it easily. But that it wouldn't be proper. And then that he could probably satisfy his immediate desire for pineapple with just the flesh clinging to the rinds. But that wouldn't be proper either.

No. Al was alone in his apartment. There was no circle of knitters meeting in the church basement implementing social control by gossiping about the eating methods of young men. There was good fruit on those rinds! He grabbed one of the rinds and stuck it in his mouth, scraping his teeth down the flesh side, squeezing the nectar down his throat. Juice dripped down his chin, onto the cutting board, over the rinds and yet-uncut slivers. He sucked the rind dry. He picked up another rind and did the same. The nectar burned in the splits of his wind-dried lips. It danced sweetly across his tongue, and he looked up again at the sun as it melted into the ocean, then looked back at the rest of the people on the beach. A few rolled their eyes at him as they swallowed their last morsels, and one of those grabbed him by the arm and mock-dragged him behind the rest of the group headed back towards the village. He did get one last look at the sun before it sank into the ocean.

Al hoped Dan would get home soon and help him eat some of this pineapple. There was no Saran Wrap in the place and he couldn't find half his Tupperware lids.