Suppose I were to begin by saying I had fallen in love with a fruit. It is an interesting way to look at things, as though the peaches were the center of it all, and not just something at the peripherals of my life. Who is to say whether they are; who is to say where it all really started.
I was ten the first time I ate peaches and cream, sitting at the table of my neighbour’s house. I was taking a break from vacuuming the floors of her house.
I did not think I would like them. I was a notoriously picky eater, and hated trying anything new. I accepted them anyways, as I didn’t know how to say no.
I fell in love with the way the smooth, thick cream balanced out the slightly tangy fruit the moment the first slice touched my lips.
At ten, I was terrible at cleaning. I would miss parts of the carpet or forget to wipe down surfaces nearly every time I was trying to complete a task. It did not help that I despised cleaning. But my mother asked me to do it, and I somewhat liked spending a few hours of my week with my neighbour. She reminded me of my grandmother.
I suspect now that she had me come over because she was lonely. It could not have been for my skills with a vacuum.
I spent days of my summers there, sitting at her table, eating peaches and cream and talking about her life.
She is 84 now, and lives in a home. Her husband died a year ago. Last time I saw her, she blinked at me repeatedly, as if she knew who I was but didn’t know how she knew me.
I have changed a lot since I was ten years old.
“Peach” by The Front Bottoms, was released on their album Talon of the Hawk in 2013.
I first heard it the following summer, sitting at my kitchen counter, my cottage cheese thighs sticking to the seat, my effortlessly beautiful best friend sitting next to me.
The first person I thought I was in love with used to sing it in the hallway at school, eyes searching for someone noticing.
I wasn’t really in love. But the song has always stuck with me.
Did you know that in China, the peach symbolizes good luck?
I went to a concert my junior year of high school for a band I barely knew; the people who opened for them was an up-and-coming pop punk band, whose one and only album was called Peach.
I got to stand right up front, and I went home with my ears ringing from the music.
That was the first concert I ever went to. A boy five years older than me kept trying to put his arms around me. I didn’t know how to say no.
The year after, I was seventeen and going to see The Front Bottoms in concert for the first time.
I waited hours in line to secure a good spot. I was not right up front, but I was pretty damn close.
It is the first concert I have ever cried at.
Did you know that every year, NPR radio does a spoken word poetry contest called Tiny Desk?
The winner of the 2018 Tiny Desk concert was a musician named Naia Izumi. He performs on the streets of Los Angeles. The title of his submission was called “Soft Spoken”.
There was a different submission for the same year, by a spoken word rapper/poet called Hobo Johnson. His song was called “Peach Scone”. He didn’t win.
When I first heard his song, I was so high I could barely remember my own name. But I remember how vehemently I felt when I saw Frank Johnson, in his ugly sweater, performing about love.
I played Peach Scone on repeat for two months after I first heard it. My roommate can sing every word right along with me.
“I love the thought of being with you. Or, maybe it’s the thought of not being so alone.”
I suspect it’s also the reason why I broke up with my first long term boyfriend.
We started dating the October of my first year at university. I was never really sure if I wanted to date him or not. I didn’t know how to say no.
At least I wasn’t lonely.
In July of 2018, I spent three manic days painting the walls of my shared basement apartment a shade called “perfectly peach.” It was my haven under a house that was suffocating from all angles.
I’m nearly twenty one now, sitting at a counter with a face from my youth, eating the ripest peach I have in months. It’s a snapshot in time moment, a glimmer of peace that chosen to stay, instead of slipping from my grasp like it usually does. The word “No” is a powerful thing.