Wednesday, January 30, 2013

mini essay and announcement

Sometime last winter I wrote about grapefruit, specifically that the grapefruit is a generous fruit that yields itself to us plentifully and easily.  We don't have to work that hard, confront barbs, become entangled among prickly canes, strip back an excess of armor, or become puzzled by globs of sticky excretions to get at the succulent center.  Grapefruits arrive at our grocery stores, we pay the going rate for them, and then we drive them home in our cars.  Our modern food distribution system has made the acquisition of food terribly easy.  If we want a grapefruit, we just show up at the store and buy one.  Simple, right?  

Not exactly.  Last year when I wrote about the grapefruit and about foods that yield themselves to us easily, I completely overlooked the fact that these foods do not materialize in our grocery stores by magic.  The argument was not flawed—the grapefruit is easier to get at than the pomegranate—but it was incomplete.  One needs to take into account all of the work that must be done in order to get that grapefruit to the supermarket.  The point of last year's piece was that humans will go to a ridiculous amount of trouble to eat one, tiny, delicious morsel—witness the difficulty of eating a pomegranate—and I still stand by that statement, but it was wrong of me to champion the grapefruit as the ultimate, hassle-free fruit and simultaneously demonize the pomegranate for being a reluctant tease who offers a relatively low return on our labor.  I'm sorry I said that.  I now think that any distinction between the two, in terms of how easily or difficultly they yield to us, is a trifling and silly distinction at best.  Again, I'm sorry I said that.  I wasn't thinking.

I did not sit down to write about last winter for no reason at all.  I am not so backward-looking.  Rather, I have an announcement to make: OILCHANGES IS MOVING TO LOS ANGELES.  It doesn't know what to do in Massachusetts anymore.  It loves Massachusetts, and it loves its little garden, but it has loved them long enough and it is ready to move on.  It does not know what it will encounter out there.  It's future in California is impossible to imagine, and it likes that.  On the other hand, it did spend many long afternoons imagining its future in Massachusetts, and that future, whether rightly or wrongly, began to look bleak, like a loveless concrete wall against which a plow had shoved a mountain of grey snow.  And so it shored up its courage and decided it must go.  It had stopped dreaming.  It had gotten onto repeat.  If a dream managed to bubble up, it would pop that dream the moment it broke the surface.  It was in an ugly battle of resignation.  It was working to accept and embrace that which should not be accepted nor embraced.  I think it was also just a little bored.  It had written about the come-and-go of the seasons too many times, and too many times it had fallen asleep under the spell of New England winter.  It never learned how to write about winter.  It sat around and entrenched itself further and further into bleak forecasts.  It likes the sun a lot.  It's crazy and bold and possibly a little fool-hardy. 

So there it is.  Oilchanges was born in Florence, Massachusetts, but it will turn five in California.  It's been a great, stabilizing force in my life and a source of adventure.  I cannot leave it behind like I can a piece of furniture, and so I am taking it with me.    



boyce said...

grapefruit is rad. i have grapefruit in my soda water everyday as opposed to cola or whatever.

Dr. Crowbar said...

When does the move happen?