Pepper Dissection

December 9, 2009
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Every single one of us was once a curious little child some point in time. In those younger years, there were always those small moments you just had to experience. For instance, your boring summer drags on and on. Those crazy, sporadic ideas pop in your head throughout the heat of the day. Naive ideas keep puzzling your mind, and the time comes that your head is just too filled with this nonsense. That leaves you one simple choice: try em’ out and see the hilarious consequence.
In retrospect, I can just see myself with that wild, 5 year-old brain of mine creating all those puerile memories back in the good ole days. Many of these moments were being spent gloriously, in the sunshine of my Grandma’s plentiful garden. This specific summer day, I was spending time with my favorite cousins; Jessica and Anika, and my little sister, paisley on an early morning at nana’s house. This was a usual since all of us were partners in crime together for as long as I can remember. If you can imagine, my cousins were the most angelic children I have ever seen. They had Bright, blue, sparkling eyes and mega blonde hair almost to the extent of being white. As for paisley, she was just like me. Golden brown hair all the way to the floor, and big, eyes that explained our naive ways in one glance. All these girls being put together, you would never guess we were related; most definitely the motley crew. We were absolutely quite the group though, I must say.
As it goes, the day was off to a bland start. We were all zoned into the TV, gazing as close as we could to the screen with a lack of life in our eyes making anyone think “are they even awake?” Well yes, the crew was literally “not there”. Finally receiving our maximum intake of TV we snapped out of our trance and got our day off to a start. We were not the type of kids to let a great day go to waste, so off we went. We had to exercise our cravings for exploration, so we traveled to the large, exotic garden out back. My cute little grandma was always steadfast in keeping her beautiful plant creation in tip-top shape. The many rows of cilantro, and jalapeños were blooming in gorgeous arrays everywhere. Growing alongside those, were tomato, onions, bell peppers and anything else to add to her wonderful salsa. Everything was teeming with life. Never once were we unexcited with the display before us. As those stunning little plump chili peppers glistened in the sun, they caught my attention and it was all too alluring. I ran towards them, and the rest of the group followed.
“Hey guys, what do you think is in the center of this chili?” I inquired as I plucked it off the vine.
“I don’t know... But we should find out.” Anika said as she started to contemplate.
That got me thinking instantly.
“Then let’s do it, operation: slice chili pepper.” I announced.
“I’m on it,” Jessica stated, “I’ll get some sticks!” She exclaimed with a smile and skipped off jubilantly.
I could tell from the approving looks, that our plan was agreed. We all left the lush garden and assembled ourselves on the porch, gathered in a circle. We were ready for the action, so intent on what’s going to spill out of this chili!” grandma came in to check on our usual mischief but saw no harm. We all dropped what we were doing and smiled and she soon saw our innocence and left us back to our project. So back to the experiment we threw ourselves. I was so extremely excited, the adrenaline was building. I felt as though this small stick in my hand was doing more than slice a worthless pepper. I was performing, I was discovering. This was as big as open heart surgery and the outcome was as monumental as finding a cure to cancer! It was all in my hands and I was determined to succeed.

I took a deep breath, made eye contact with all three sets of eyes in the circle. Anika gave me a stern, controlled look but her eyes gave away her excitement. Jessica gave me a smile, urging me on. Lastly, I turn to look at paisley. She was intent on my actions, a curious expression in her eyes. I wanted to make her proud; I sought to be that exciting older sister I always dreamed about being, and wanted to set that example for her. Using this as my fuel, I leaned in close to the chili and made a slow, gradual slice in to the center of a pepper.
Instantly the chili squirted out juice everywhere in a pool around itself. Apparently sticks aren’t the key utensil for slicing. We all take a cautionary step back for half a second then, lean in closer than before for a better observation. Small seeds were what lie in the center of the pant, but that uninterested us. What caught my attention was the strong spice permeating the air. The elements from the chilis were stinging my nose, and I could only imagine what that would do to my throat. I lightly touched the pepper, perfectly analyzing it with my scientific ways when I realized its simplicity.
‘Dang’, I thought to myself ‘this is just a regular sliced plant.’ In comparison, the chili was no different than slicing a grape in two. A little let down I still patted my hands together like a mission accomplished. As brought my hands together, I also fixed my scraggly bangs and pushed them out of the way. Almost instantaneously I realized what a terrible choice it was to touch my face. Chili insides were doused all over my face and it was then I felt the blazing heat. The scorching was everywhere, from deep in my pores to underneath my eyelids. My face was on fire! I fell to the ground, or what I thought was beneath me, and felt the pain as it gripped my face hard. I didn’t scream, but I simply started to cry like the 5 year-old girl I was. The sweltering twinge was down into my nose and seared every one of my breaths. My sobs continued as I waited for Nana to wash away the burning sensation. Finally, my pain became quenched, as grandma brought a wet cloth to my face. What a sweet relief that blessed rag was to me that summer adventure. After the pain was over, I peered over at my cousins and read their troubled expressions, but more importantly I saw the fear on my little sister’s face. Oh the pain that small glance caused me that day.
When I look back now I think ‘Wow, you were one smart child delving into chili peppers like that’ and how painful that must have been at my age. Though in deeper perspective I really take into account the real agony that was caused looking into Paisleys green eyes and knowing I let her down. Seeing her little face be so worried was a gaze I never wanted to behold. I wish I could have shielded myself from seeing the pain that I had caused in that poor innocent girl that was supposed to look up to me. I can definitely testify many lessons were learned that fine summer afternoon. I know now experimenting with a chili results badly. Getting yourself into trouble exploring was always one of my weaknesses and testing your responsibility of being a great older sister is something you never want to fail at. These all I had received my consequences for and I felt I was a changed 5 year-old child. Coming soon though, was another day ahead of me with another exploration calling my name, with its lesson to be learned right at its heels.

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