Posted by: syncopated1 | December 12, 2011



Image taken from without permission.

“I wish I had a fresh orange right now.”

“So go to the store and get one?”

The two friends were seated on the first’s porch, sharing a pipe, looking out into the “late” afternoon sun. The yard spread before them with a garden immediately across the driveway, and tiny little hills rolling away from the house to the left and the right. The dimming sunlight cast long shadows spaced with yellow daggers of light between the pine trees. Fall had lingered long this year, and while it was chilly, the early December afternoon wasn’t uncomfortable for idling companionably outside.

“Store oranges aren’t the same as a fresh orange,” the first man said, passing the pipe back across the table and tugging his hat lower over his ears. “You know what I mean? There is a palpable difference between a fresh picked orange and one that has been waxed and sprayed and shipped 2000 miles and all the other ridiculous crap they do to fruit these days.”

“I suppose you could always grow an orange tree, dude.” The other replied, puffing away.

“I could. It’s true, and sometimes I want to. But other times, like right now, I think it’s better to simply wish for that far away fresh one.”

“What do you mean?” Came the question as the pipe was returned.

“Well, think about it. Yes, I could grow an orange tree. I have the space, I have the know-how, and I could find the means. But think about the steps I’d have to take. First of all, I live in Maine, I’d have to wait a long time to reach the point where I can plant said tree. After that I would have to care for it carefully, Maine is a harsh place for tropical trees any time of year. I would definitely have to build a green house to create the right environment for it, and heat it during the winter. And after all that it would probably still be a couple of years before it bore fruit up here. And after all of that work and care, and effort put it, the damn thing could simply not take, or freeze in the winter after a moment’s inattention.

But on the other hand, that orange in my mind’s eye is absolutely perfect. And a guarantee! It always peels perfectly, and is the right amount of juiciness so that it bursts when I bite into it, but doesn’t run willy-nilly down my chin and make a mess of everything. In my mind, this orange is so sweet it simply explodes with sunshine and summer on my tongue.”

“But, dude. It’s not real.” The other stated bluntly, shattering his friend’s illusion as the last of the sun faded away.

“Well,” the other said as he got up to head inside, “I guess I’ll have to content myself with apples.”



  1. A very interesting philosophical thought process. Loving what is, the perfect illusion of the orange verses the hassle of growing one or dissatisfaction of an inferior one can be a beautiful mindset when paired with a deep appreciation for apples, or for the imperfect oranges as well. None of the above are mutually exclusive. Rivera

  2. None of which are mutually exclusive, true, but should be coupled with a clear, mature mindset that we really ought to love and work for what is in season and local. Singularly seeking oranges from Maine is, in a sense, foolish. They’re not here, and to change the oranges’ natural reality puts a toll on the fruit that is unmistakable (making the inferior orange), whereas it is perhaps better to love oranges in theory for all their natural wonder, and love and consume apples for their inherent and local worth.

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