Thursday, June 23, 2011

tomatoes and rain

I'm not happy about this rain.  Have you heard me say that already?  It's been raining a lot.  I keep dreading another 2009.  The summer of 2009 traumatized me.  Permanently scarred me.  It rained so much.  It really disappointed me.  I got four ripe tomatoes.  And the apples that fall, they were mealy.  I'm not the only one around here who is worried about this rain.  I might be the only who goes around saying, once a day, Massachusetts can shove its climate up its a-hole, but I'm not the only one who trembles, with fear, whenever he looks out at his tomatoes through these long strings of rain and spray.  I spoke to another this evening.  I said, are you nervous?  And she said she was.  

Those are four nice brandywines from last summer, heavily manipulated.  I took a phone pic of those brandywine's, and the pic sat on my phone for eleven months, just to show up here, now, as a screen shot of a magnified blow-up of the original pic.  Tomatoes must be figuring heavily into my thoughts these days.  Maybe I'm just stoned.  I admired this pic for twenty minutes, blowing it up, shrinking it down, and taking screen shots of it on my screen for about twenty minutes before I decided to do this post about tomatoes and rain.  Rain and cool temperatures.  The fruit might not set and it surely won't ripen if this pattern persists.  Hence, the nerves.  

A magnified tomato.  A digital tomato.  21st century version of descent-of-man worry.  I cannot hear Ed, my hobbling octegenarian Korean war vet neighbor when he says, "Don't worry, John, they'll come."  I just cannot hear him.  I want to hear him, but I can't.  What negativity.  I am exuding it like a ripe tomato exudes juice.  

Do you see that one cracked tomato?  Want to know how that happened?  I didn't smack it with a rabbit's foot.  It rained heavily right around the time that tomato became fully ripe.  A massive influx of water rushed into that tomato and burst it at the seam.  And yet the relationship between a beautiful tomato and water cannot be denied.  Tomatoes are almost entirely water.  But have you ever seen how big a tomato plant's root system is?  They get huge.  And tomatoes swell slowly.  The don't need buckets and buckets of water to pull off their miracle of flavor and universal aesthetic mastery.  Actually, they don't need much of this at all.  Whatever the conditions, in pretty much all of them the tomato will figure it out and go on, reproduce, make it.  It's us, with our fists raised to the black skies, that need them to have perfect amounts of sun and rain. 

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