Navel cut, skin deep. The smooth grooves of this spherical fruit and when cut in half resemble a certain likeness to the clear cut across the Earth, exposing her crust, core, and mantle. Like large Hooter owl eyes stare up from the cutting board, and slightly wobble, trying to maintain their balance. Two domed semi-circles holding gems of sweet, juicy fruit. Florida gemstones. Citrus certainty. The fruit is always so much better than the juice from concentrate. Popsicles melt in summer, juice trickling down long wooden sticks. Saccharine gemstones in yellow pharmacy bag; gumdrops. They always look better than they taste and feel. An orange cut in half, then in half again is like the setting sun on an ocean horizon. Same deal with the lemon – Sunshine beaming in. Poster, blue water and sky, colored in by markers. I can smell the citrus tart, the sweet and sour.
Science experiment in Mrs. Mitchell’s class. Getting in trouble. I have no recollection that we were ever offered therapy or counseling after 9/11 happened at the beginning of that 5th grade school year. I wonder sometimes how much of myself is repressed trauma and purposeful forgetfulness. Air exposed orange for day. The mold taking over, white and fuzzy. Science class lab. I was never into it, but did the work begrudgingly. Talkative and at times defiant. Struggling in math class. Was school ever fun then? I remember the non-air conditioned classroom and how the windows opened; Where we hung our coats and bookbags, and where the blackboard and teacher’s desk was. I remember posters and games and relished in anything that would distract us from a usual day. Rolling with the wrong friends. The water fountain right outside the door. The 2001 Almanac. The book fair. Sneakers. And the way the floor checkered. I think those teachers were good and did the best they could. I was daydreaming and scatterbrained and lost at times. I wish I had tried harder. I wish I didn’t care what others thoughts. I wish I wasn’t picked on for my glasses, my size, my clothes, and my awkwardness. “Orange You Glad” jokes. That was 2nd grade. Different school.
I like peeling oranges by hand. Maybe getting it started with a serrated knife.