Cricket Online Review Table of Contents

..:: CONTENTS ::..
   Volume VI, Issue I

..:: POETRY ::..

..:: PROSE ::..
..:: OTHER ::..

..:: ETC ::..
   Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
   Volume I, Issue I
   Volume I, Issue II
   Volume II, Issue I
   Volume II, Issue II
   Volume III, Issue I
   Volume III, Issue II
   Volume IV, Issue I
Volume IV, Issue II
   Volume V, Issue I


John Pookie


     There is a push on my shoulder from behind. "Excuse me. Excuse me. Man. Hello. We are closed."
     I look around; there is a lot of produce. Am I in the supermarket?
     "Sir, I am going to need to escort you out of the store. We are closed for the night."
     "No. Sorry. There's no need. I must have zoned out," I turn to exit, "Sorry again for the trouble."
     I check my watch; it is nine o' four pm. What the hell just happened to me? I went in at what was it, like eight. I remember walking in through the automatic door. The produce aisle was right there. I squeezed some peaches. They were hard as stones.

     "Then what, Kyle?"
     "That's just it. I don't remember. After the peaches. It is all blank. Don't know."
     "Any family history of narcolepsy?"
     "Is it possible you misread the clock? Maybe it was nine when you went in to the market."
     "Even if I misread, they close at nine, would they have let me in?"

     They won't be letting me back in, not after this. I have absolutely no explanation why I am lying in the cantaloupe bin. Must have blacked out again. I am up before the security guards have to pull me.
     "My melons. You have squashed my melons," the manager yelps.
     "Relax," getting out my wallet, "I'll pay for the melons," I give the guy a ten for his trouble and leave the store with a couple cantaloupes; they can give away the rest.
     The television does not take my mind off the incident. In fact, cannot stop thinking about the cantaloupes I now have. Bet the rind sure feels nice; that web of raised netting along the smooth skin.

     "It didn't feel particularly wrong. Or right. Didn't even really think about it. Knew they were in the fridge so I grabbed one."
     "Then what…?"
     "Just kicked back in my easy chair with a cantaloupe on my lap. Like it was a cat. Totally peaceful."
     "And you sat there for how long?"
     "I fell asleep, right there with the T.V. on. I was out for hours. The best I've slept since my first blank-out."
     "What is it that attracts you, Kyle, of all things, to cantaloupe?"

     The answer to that question eludes me like figs in a dish. I wouldn't even say I'm attracted, just needy. Lowering my apartment's temperature to an optimal 39 degrees allows me to keep the freshest cantaloupes around: on top of the stereo, the countertops, next to the lamp. This way I can try and get my head around cantaloupes; try and see things from their perspective.
     Even 39 degrees doesn't keep cantaloupe forever. It starts to go soft and mushy. I hate waste, so I search the web: turns out you can can cantaloupe. I have plenty of jars so I slice up some cantaloupe and slide it. into. glass. cantaloupes.
     Cantaloupes against the glass, all…very familiar. When I was very small. With my blanket. Sitting on a bean bag. When the door opens. Dad is there. He brought home a jar. "This is all that is left," he says. Floating inside the jar, pressing out on the glass, what looks like a melon. They took this out of her, he explained. They thought they could save her. Dad saved the jar.
     The jar stayed with us on the mantle in the parlor through all the TV dinners and football games but I could never touch or hold near.
     Mother, these cantaloupes bring us closer than ever before.


//   Advance   //