A few minutes ago, I ate a fresh pear. My mom bought some and forced me to go home with them when I packed up from visiting over the weekend.
I can’t remember the last time I had a pear. Although I eat vegetables for fun, I rarely buy fruit. And when I do, it’s almost always a grapefruit. There was a time when I ate more fruit, sometimes for free. Especially pears.
Some of the homes on my block were the second or third generation from after the farm that once was there was subdivided. Several of the lots with newer homes featured fruit trees. A few doors down was a peach tree. We had a cherry tree. On the corner were several pear trees. It was an older building, so it either was the inspiration or a coincidence.
That corner lot housed a corner store, some small apartments and the home of the proprietor. The portion of the large, rectangular building that was Mary Lee’s home was a maze. Before I knew that it was Dickensian, I knew that home felt Dickensian. The troubled boy she adopted briefly was my friend. Before he compelled me to sever our friendship, fell into more trouble than someone our age should, wound up in Florida and received a life sentence there, we tried to get pears before they fully ripened and began to rot on the ground.
We’d throw rocks or the ball we were playing with or any other object to rattle the branches enough to send some down. When Mary Lee caught us, she’d yell and I had to go home. When she didn’t, we’d run off with our unripe bounty, ignorant of stony and bland not being the flavors associated with them.
I was expecting this pear to be a challenge to bite, be flavorless and remind me of relatively innocent times.
It was soft, had a taste close to the chunks in heavy syrup and did no such thing.