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untitled pineapple story

20 Aug

It was a Sunday or Monday. It could have been Wednesday. But during the summer, when the most we had to worry about was finding the perfect time to sleep without interrupting the constant flow of activities, the days of the week didn’t matter. But the sun was going down, and I could see the effects of a full day on Andy’s face, the way his hair moved in the wind, and his hands loosely gripping the bottom of the steering wheel. He took a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. I put my left hand on his jeans, turned to him, and smiled. His eyes stayed on the road. I inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of pineapples, and let it out slowly. Summer was slipping away.

“I wish I knew you when you were born.”

“When I was born, I was just a baby,” I said. “Just a baby.” I turned away from him, and my words were stolen by the wind who was always in a hurry to share things with people they didn’t belong to.

“I bet you were beautiful,” he said.

“I was never beautiful,” I said.

“Damn it,” he only damned things when he was upset. And his words stung. The wind snapped them at me from the left and hit me in the throat. “Damn it,” he said again. “I wish you could see how beautiful you are.”

I turned away from him again, looking out at the pineapples, rows and rows of pineapples on either side of the car for miles, until suddenly they stopped. And then I could smell gardenias. Their aroma was powerful and elegant. Beautiful. But I was already tired of them. I missed the pineapples. I missed the playful scent of fruit and the idea of a long summer that fit with it so well.

“Why do you always have to do that?” he asked.

I shrugged and turned to face the road. I felt like a child being extracted from the merry-go-round, scornful and pouty.

“Just let me say you’re beautiful, and then leave it. Every time I say something nice about you, you go ahead and tear it up. Just let it be, for once.”

“I’ve seen beautiful girls, and I’ve seen myself. There’s a difference.” A huge difference. A difference so large, six full-grown elephants and their families could live in it. I knew I was average-looking at best, and I had always hated the thought of someone thinking I thought I was better.

“Say it. Say you’re beautiful.”

“You’re beautiful.”

“You know what I mean.”

“I’m not going to say I’m beautiful!”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s a lie.”

“You’ve told lies.”

“No I haven’t.”

“See?”

And he was right, and I was wrong, and he was satisfied because he’d won, and not because I told him that maybe I’m not so bad. Maybe I am beautiful. Maybe he’s beautiful. Maybe we could be beautiful together for another year. Maybe we could turn around and smell the pineapples, chase the sun back to the top of the sky, and drive slower. But it was dark, and he was driving fast to keep up with the cars around us which were going home too, to close another day and rest to have the strength enough to open the next.

“You’re beautiful,” he said.

And I said “okay,” even though I didn’t feel it, because I knew that was what he wanted to hear. But the wind snatched the sound, and his eyes were on the road, and he was taking me home where I couldn’t smell anything except for the neighbor’s curry, which was the least summery thing I could think of at the moment.

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4 Responses to “untitled pineapple story”

  1. Chris K. August 21, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    i don’t like reading..but when i read your blogs its more of an “activity” because its enjoyable. keep up the good work :).

  2. ssunaoka August 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Who is this about? Anyone in particular?

    • jenibo August 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

      It is about the narrator and Andy! 🙂

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