By Monica Kreindel
When I was young I could give my grapes to anyone, and anyone could take. Four for my preschool teacher, two for each friend in my class. Ten for my stuffed tiger, fifty for my mother. And everybody wanted one.
Soon the grapes started to ripen: no longer small, young, green grapes. Those, anyone could have; but these were new, brightly colored, and I had less. Now one for a best friend, two for the first boy I loved. I gave two, he took nine.
Everyone’s grapes change. Into Reisling grapes or Cabernet Sauvignon. Champagne grapes or mold. They were never too close to the sun or simply a plain red grape.
There are Reislings sweet as white wines, and Champagne grapes at every party. No one could get enough. Eaten everywhere, taken everywhere, loved everywhere.
The jelly and fresh grapes were common, but not decadent. Well-known and well-liked, fresh grapes always had oranges, apples, carrots. Jelly grapes will always have bread, peanut butter, and toast. Unless they mold, of course they’ll be eaten.
Instead, I grew withered, small, and dry. Thrown away uneaten in lunches, packed together, trapped in a box. Wholesome, healthful, even decent in oatmeal.
It’s so easy for people to drink wine, make a jelly sandwich, enjoy fresh grapes, and sip champagne.
I want someone to eat my raisins.