Monday, September 21, 2009

The Peach Was Still In My Pocket

Yesterday morning I found myself in the parking garage at work, struggling to get out of my car. I had too many individual items that needed to be carried to the office but I had no bag of any kind - no backpack, no briefcase - in which to carry these items:
  • wallet
  • iPhone
  • headset for iPhone
  • keys
  • blue Moleskine (lined) notebook
  • black pen
  • bottle of water
  • a peach.

So, there was a peach. This has been a good year for peaches and it sister fruit, the nectarine. Trader Joe's has been selling boxes of nine peaches (in a waste-saving 3x3 box, with bottom indentations and air holes in its plastic lid) and for some reason, they're the best peaches I can remember eating. I took three of these peaches with me to work, along with a few other snacks. Everything went into a paper shopping bag. By the time I got to work, I had eaten two of the peaches as part of my in-car breakfast.

Back to my attempt to organize my personal items. I was standing outside my car, door open, personal items strewn on the hood of the car. I was frustrated that it just wasn't fitting together. I decided I needed to restart the process. I took a breath and sat back down in the driver's seat. I looked at my things. Most could be squeezed into my pockets or held in my hands. But not all of it could, comfortably, for the 0.6 mile walk to my office. I tried different combos until I realized that the peach - bulbous and not foldable - was the best candidate for reassignment

The peach sat alone in the left front pocket of my dress pants. My hands and other front pocket were full of the aforementioned. I walked to my office with a sense of purpose. I strode across Figueroa and ambled past the plazas. I chose not to elude the fountain. I reached the brick building. I walked up the stairs. I pulled out my key chain ahead of time. I chose the correct key. I opened the door. I put the things on my desk.

I moved into my new office a couple of weeks ago and I'm still not fully settled. Strewn around my office are boxes full of office supplies and pre-21st century educational journals, framed art waiting to be displayed, and, most inappropriate for an office, two big blue IKEA reusable shopping bags filled with random mail and papers from the last four years of my life.

(break for questions)

Reader 1: Well, how did you get all that stuff into the car in the first place? Couldn't you have used the same carrying method?
BpB: Good question. I have to remember the fine eye for detail that is typical of my reader(s). I brought all that stuff to the car in a grocery bag. During the drive, the bag became unusable. No further detail will be provided because the story is actually not that interesting.

Reader 2: Don't you have any other more important matters to write about?
BpB: This is a blog, not a personal diary. Would I put dubious lists, fake reader messages, words of wooing in hidden code, links to videos of songs from 1985, and long considerations on Bachelor Loaf into a diary? Of course I would not.

Reader 3: The peach fit in your pocket?
BpB: Yes, it did. With room to spare. These pants have deep/wide pockets. I'd say the peach was medium-sized.

Reader 2 (again): Don't you have a giant IKEA bag full of mail at your apartment?
BpB: Yes. This is a different, third bag.

Reader 4: In the paragraph above the "break for questions," did you put the word IKEA - and only the word IKEA - in the font of Verdana, in a strained reference to their recent corporate font change?

BpB: Yes.
Upon entering my office, I decided that the unorganized bags, boxes, and stuff should be in a less visible part of the office. I picked up one of the boxes and stacked it on top of another box on top of a small cabinet. The bottom box was empty and could not withstand the weight of the top box (the contents of which included a 10-pound weight for spontaneous office arm curls) and at least four multivariate statistics textbooks.

Because of the weight differential, the top box became unstable. I instinctively grabbed it before it could fall. Because I am a smart individual with an advanced degree, I then solved the problem very simply - by putting the empty box on top of the full one. I would soon learn of another problem that required a solution.

It was about 10 minutes later that I began to suspect my thigh was getting wet. I looked at my charcoal grey 34-length/32-width pants and saw several liquidy blotches and a couple of strange small pulpy bulges. I was confused. What happened? Had my leg been infiltrated by sea monkeys? A pack of pants-gnats? A dreaded scorpion titmouse?

I was a little hesitant of putting my hand in my pocket or otherwise investigating further. But hesitation was soon replaced by fearless inquisitiveness, much like that of a fifteenth century explorer. I carefully placed my left hand in the pocket. It felt sticky in there. And then it hit me... back when I instinctively grabbed that box... when I lunged forward and a bit to the left and bumped the upper half of my left leg against the cabinet, the peach was still in my pocket.

I don't even have to fake-anticipate my next reader question. I can just ask it in my own temporal reality: Shouldn't I have noticed that the peach exploded? Well, yeah, probably. But there was just a slight collision. I had other things on my mind. The peach was perfectly ripe so it had a tender softness to it.

This is where a photograph would have appeared. I wanted to place a picture of a smashed peach in this spot. It didn't have to be a smashed-peach-in-pants-pocket photo. Pants didn't have to be involved at all. It just had to be a picture of a peach being smashed, or a shot of the mushy peach pulp post-smash. But there are no pictures of smashed peaches on the Internet, at least none that are searchable using expected search terms. So you know what I did? I said "Hey I got six more succulent peaches at home. Why don't I smash one of them and take a picture?" I felt this piece really needed that image.

Then... real life took over. I got home. I had to feed the cats. I had to watch that one sitcom that I don't tell people I watch. I had to fall asleep ridiculously early. I never took that picture. And I won't be near a photographable peach smashing for another hour or two; no one should have to wait any longer to hear my story.

The date of this piece reads September 21. But it did not post until today, the 22nd. All of it, with the exception of this green aside, was written on the 21st. I probably should have waited another day or two, so my urge to tell this story would pass.
Yes, the story was truly that inconsequential. You kept reading in the hope that there would be some revelation, some grand self-realization. Nope. But, let's say this completely true story did fascinate you. Let's say it was turned into a feature film and the words "The End" appeared on the screen after the protagonist's peach-pocket reveal. Wouldn't you have a few lingering questions, questions that you do not even have to ask. Because, superimposed on the mythical movie screen in that mythical indie theater that had the guts to show The Peach Was Still in My Pocket (PG-13, for suggestiveness) are the following informative title cards:
Ali and his peach mush walked to the sink in the office break room to do his best to clean up the mess.

(soft fade)

He then remembered that his new office break room did not have a sink so he walked upstairs to the restroom, where he did his best to clean up the mess.

(softer fade)

Ali did not eat the peach.

1 comment:

Jason B. said...

Two and a Half Men or Big Bang Theory? Cause we watch Big Bang Theory. At this point because it's kind of nostalgia for Pasadena. Also I usually laugh at least once in a good way.