I step down from my grandpa’s truck and look at the expanse of land before me. Chili, corn, cantaloupes, watermelons, onions, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and tomatoes, all grow in perfect rows. My grandpa sits on a wooden bench underneath a sparsely covered tree. The sun peaks through the outstretched branches, highlighting my grandpas smile. My dad looks like a tiny black dot next to the tall corn stalks. I walk towards my grandpa and give him a bottle of water.

            “Gram told me to pick some tomatoes.” I tell him.

            “Zee yah. Pick some cucumbers and onions for her, too.” His smile never leaves his face as he stands to stretch and pick up his shovel.

            Mosquitos attach themselves to my calves and arms, causing tiny pin prick pain. I swat them away but that only causes them to multiply. While I walk, I’m tentative of every step I take so I don’t crush any of the plants. It’s easy to mistake plant from weed. My grandpa always told me weeds look like thin vines and they wrap themselves around the plants to suffocate.

            Too immersed in my thoughts,  I almost bump into my dad.

            “Where you going?” I raise my head and he beams at me.

            “Gram told me to pick some tomatoes and I brought some water for you and Tha-tha.”

            As I continue, the dry earth cracks beneath my shoes and the hot sun creates ripples on the ground beneath me, giving the illusion of a river flowing through the crop. Then I see the tomato plants, the plump, ripe red circles. Some are over-ripe, and their guts are one squish away from spilling out. I bend down and grasp a sandy red orb with my thumb and fore finger. I bring it closer to my face, blow away the sand remnants then place it into my mouth. The succulent, smooth skin glides over my tongue and settles between my teeth as I bite down it makes this little plif sound. The seeds and juice coat the inside of my mouth. At first, it is a little bitter and sour, but as I begin to chew the flesh of the tomato is meaty and sweet. I swallow it and continue picking more tomatoes.


< Previous: Place and IdentityNext: >