Peaches

May 2, 2011
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The massive metal tongs felt cold in my hands as I
maneuvered them around to try and
capture the slippery canned peaches and secure it on to my plate.
The buffet line stretched around the long
corner and down the wide hallway
and I sighed as I mournfully gazed at my peaches.
Their looks deceived me,
their golden glossy exterior made me want to think twice
about how they might taste,
but by this far along in our time at the camp, I knew better.


The Alaskan sun shone through the large cafeteria
skylights and I had to squint to see past the beams of light reflecting off the nearby mountains and glaciers to find my seat next to
my teammates. Their eyes drooping and glassy, longing for sleep.
Their defeated faces downcast, weary hands pushing their forks
and scraping their plates.
The screeching and scratching of metal against plastic was enough to drive you mad.

There was no other selection but
peaches as our choice of fruit, for we needed the nutrition badly,
and all were beginning to loathe them. I even hated the word peaches.
They were slimy, like the slug I had cruelly salted onto my window last summer.
I suppose this was my payback
The peaches slid off my spoon, I swear they were mocking me.
Unnecessary rage bubbled up inside of me,
I did my deep breathing exercises to control it.

Upon succeeding in putting the peaches onto my spoon after calming down,
I put them into my mouth before I had time to reconsider my fatal choice.
The peaches were so dull and tasteless,
almost like moose meat we had eaten for the past two weeks.
Both were chewy, probably expired long ago.

I chewed with a grimace on my face.
I could feel my throat getting tight, like it knew what was coming.
Routine had taught it that something very, very repulsive was about to happen.
It protested with fierce desperation as I summoned the willpower
to swallow. The partly chewed peaches slid down
my esophagus and I wanted to gag. I hated peaches.





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