Today I found an avocado hiding at the bottom of my fruit basket. (Yes, I have a legit fruit basket sitting on my kitchen table. It’s a wiry-chrome thing with one of those hooks to hang bananas. Very practical.) Anyway, hiding there under the tomatoes and grapefruit and the bruised apples sat one perfectly dark, banged up avocado I’d forgotten about since last week’s groceries.
And as I put away this week’s groceries, I told myself that I was going to eat that avocado for lunch. By itself. No chips. No tortillas. I was going to cut it up, shake a little Tajin over the top (Have you heard about our lord and savior, Tajin?), and then I was going to put that avocado in my mouth. All of it.
And I thought, Goddamn. Life’s not so bad after all.
But then, when I hacked the avocado open, all excited for the loveliness of sitting alone and eating a small avocado in one sitting, I noticed a strange, smoky smell. Then, I saw more than a few brown spots. Overripe. Of course I couldn’t hope to accidentally stumble across an avocado and have it be perfectly ripe. I hadn’t won the freakin’ lottery or something. The perfectly ripe avocado is a rare and elusive treasure, and as such, there’s little chance that perfection could have been reached with a piece of produce hiding for a week in my hot apartment.
Still, I had made an assessment of Life’s quality based on this thing, so I decided to eat it anyway. I shucked the buttery fruit flesh out of its leathery skin, scraped away the brown spots (and the weird smoky-smelling dark green spots), put that thing on the plate with a little Tajin (cue Angelic Choir) and I ate that avocado. I put it in my mouth.
After eating half of it, I began to realize it was a little rotten, actually. I can’t say it really tasted the way I expected an avocado to taste.
Anyway, I eventually caved and finished up lunch with some chips and salsa (marveling at how hot salsa doesn’t even make a dent on my palate anymore since I started a heavy Sriracha regimen. I think I’m actually a spicy food person, now.) And the whole time, I’m wondering Is life so bad after all? Is it still good? Will I get the rotten avocado runs tonight? Will a sea of chaos swallow up everything I love, or will I be just fine?
I can’t say I know the answer. All I can say is this: during tumultuous times, we would all do well to remember that the word avocado may mean “testicle” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, but that does not necessarily mean that guacamole stands for “testicle sauce.”
I think we’ll all rest better tonight knowing that (except those of us with food poisoning, of course.)