Reader, I ate him

Justine Toh spends $3.50 on a single lockdown mango, and celebrates what it heralds: summer days to come, and renewed hope.

Is $3.50 way too expensive for one Kensington Pride Mango?

Normally I’d say yes, but three months (and counting) of lockdown has made me soft. “Time devours all things”, goes the proverb. Well, into the gaping maw of lockdown has disappeared a haze of Zoom birthdays, baby showers, family get-togethers, and anniversaries.

I want to bite back – and the King of Fruit’s juicy flesh was my chance. Reader, I ate him.

I couldn’t help myself. The blush of summer on this fruit was irresistible. I savoured its sweetness, the memories it evoked of lazy holidays past. A lifetime ago, us kids were given a box of mangoes to devour at a Christmas party. We formed a silent, sticky circle as we stuffed the sweet cheeks into our mouths. The adults got a present too – we were finally quiet for a minute.

My lockdown mango reminded me that better times are ahead. Right now, the days are an endless blur. Life feels wasted or, at the very least, on hold. But that’s if I take an overly constricted view. There is change afoot in the world beyond lockdown. Spring is on the march and I got to sample a firstfruit of what might be a bumper crop.

I gave my boys a cheek each. They gobbled it down and asked for more. Of course they did.

It tasted like hope.

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