My peach needs a leash.
I was on a fiber mission at Fred Meyer’s, in search of fruit and vegetables. I bought a few more items than I had planned—as always—overstuffing my small shopping cart. I always grab the smaller carts so I won’t buy so much. Yeah, right.
“Let me have someone get you a bigger cart,” the cashier offered, eyeballing my precariously stacked peaches, cherries, and eggs.
The cart was too heavy to glide over the door hump on the ground. Annoyed at this, I gave it a shove and over it went. As I waited for a pickup to roll by, so I could move to my car, I was vaguely aware of a girl yelling, “Peach! Peach!” I smiled at her as I wrestled my cart across the parking lot.
“Peach! Peach!” Both girls yelled it. Were they talking to me? I looked down at myself. I thought maybe they were remarking about the color I was wearing. Was I wearing a peach color? No, purple.
I heard a man’s voice. “Hey, peach, peach!” He pointed at the ground in front of me.
I looked ahead of my cart in time to see that one of my peaches had escaped the cart and was rolling like an escaped convict through the middle of the Fred Meyer parking lot. A man looked down in time to see it roll between his Nikes. It headed toward a minivan, oblivious, as it drove in my direction. The peach rolled under the front of the minivan, with the determination of a bowling ball. It emerged unscathed and undeterred on the other side.
I gave up thinking I could catch it. It had a Pixar state of mind. I’d purchased some flat cell batteries, maybe it ingested them and that was powering its Great Escape across the parking lot. People saw the peach on the move, and stepped around it, as if it were a routine occurrence.
Rally cries rang across Freddy-land, with multitudes of people yelling, “Peach! Peach!” Onward it rolled; over sand, rocks, and bumps—all the way out to the road leading out of Freddy’s. It rolled across the road and bounced against a concrete curb, then stopped. I stared in disbelief.
“Did you see your peach?” one of the original Peach-Peach girls was incredulous. “It zipped outta here like it was alive!”
“Yeah,” the other girl said. “I didn’t know peaches could go so far on their own.”
I held a hand over my eyes, squinting, to see if my mysterious peach was still there, alongside all the passing cars. It was. I walked over, picked it up, and inspected it. It had a few nicks, but otherwise it had withstood the bumpy obstacle course. This was one tough peach. I was surprised at its stamina.
“Good peach,” I said. “I can’t eat you yet—it wouldn’t be right.” I laid it with reverence on a paper towel to dry.
My husband looked at me funny. “You’re talking to a peach.”
“Yes. I am. But you should see what it did.” I explained its great escape and journey against all odds through the parking lot, and out to the road, with everyone yelling “Peach! Peach!”
“I can’t,” I said. “Not yet. It deserves to ‘live’ a little longer.”
The next time I buy peaches, I’m taking my dog leash in the store with me.
© Lois Paige Simenson and The Alaska Philosophaster, 2015, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Alaska Philosophaster with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. LIPS