June 6, 2019
Vignettes on Fruit
or Something Rotten
It was the lights, absolutely the lights, that drew us together. Those flickering fluorescents, that slick, oozing green, enfolded us, like mucous, and these luminescent strands attached us across the room. When I first saw C’s hand, reaching slowly for an apple, I was struck by its steadiness. There had never been a movement with so much confidence, so much care, so much deliberation, as the one I had just witnessed. My basket was half full, hanging idly by my side, and I was stuck staring at C, walking away. Whenever I saw C, they were always turned away from me, looking at produce, running crisp white nails along the waxy skin of the fruits.Eventually we began to communicate, as we were clearly kindred spirits. C would leave scratches in the skin of cucumbers, and I would switch the position of one bushel of spinach with another. Through these adjustments, we built an elaborate set of codes; each movement speaking beyond what any ordinary words could say.When we first went home together we didn’t say a word. C placed a carton of milk on the south-west corner of the kitchen table, and we kissed.
When I arrived on set I was first struck by the stench. It was a sweet, unguent odor that hung over the room like a cloud. I was reminded of a high-school locker, of berries left on the counter, dripping in the sun, of fly traps; honey, wine, soap, vinegar. The shoot was slow, hot, and without a doubt, uninspired. Amber light drew sweat from my pores as I dangled a grape from my hand, hanging it over my mouth. This grape seemed worried; I thought it must be saying to itself “this is it! I will never see my friends or my family again! There are so many thoughts left unsaid!” On my way out of the studio, I caught a glimpse of the photographers bedroom (she, like so many creatives, had her studio in her living room). On every surface there were baskets of blackberries, left rotting in the August sun.
Every time I eat a peach now I picture Chalamet’s tiny little cock halfway through it. I can’t help myself.
For five years the manager who watched over me would eat one bag of grapes every day. They were always purple, always unwashed, and always coated with what must have been dust. Upon his death, I brought an unripe bunch to his gravestone, and left them sitting in the mud.
As a child I always loved blueberries. I would eat them until they stained my shit, tinting the porcelain toilet the color of the sky.
The apples she would eat were always unfinished, with a perfect crescent missing.
Here is the recipe for the only salad dressing I know how to make: Olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper.
B’s job was to rot fruit. His managers believed that this reminder of death would urge customers to buy ripe fruit more quickly. Over the years, he developed an efficient and cost-wise methodology, which won him much praise from his superiors. The produce would sit, sweating under a halogen sun, dripping in gold and wavering in the heat. Black flies would sway haphazardly through the yellow air, landing briefly on orange-skins, banana peels, and plums for a moment before taking off again. After a while, B befriended these visitors, keeping several with him in a small glass jar at all times.
Words: Grayson James
Video & Photography: Lauren Armstrong
Assist: Max Zandboer
Hair & Makeup: Nate Palacios
Model: Lana Taylor