Eating a raspberry

[500 words].  Sitting.  Relaxed.  A raspberry in view.  A soft texture, malleable to the touch.  Deep redness.  White spots where the light reflects, the grooves along each segment a darker red.  Tiny hairs sticking out, like those of a stinging nettle.

A curiosity to touch; to sense the texture.  It is picked up, gently.  An image of juice rolling along the fingers arises.  And an aversion to it.  Don’t want to squash it – maintain the gentle touch.  At the same time a curiosity to squeeze.


An appropriately applied pressure is exerted by the fingers.  Releasing and feeling the raspberry take back its shape.  So strange these tiny hairs.  They take away from the gentleness of the fruit.  Perhaps the raspberry would think the same of the hairs on my skin.


The segments are fascinating.  An image of pomegranate appears in the mind.  There is a similarity in their shape.  How do these segments grow?  What DNA instructions create these tiny segments and what instructions arrange them together, like a 3D jigsaw puzzle?  And where does the water in this raspberry come from, and the rest of the material?  Is it from England, from somewhere else?  What rain has slapped its skin?  What water has trickled down the soil , gone up the roots and sat in each segment?  And where did that water come from?  Am I about to eat molecules that have been miles up in the sky, travelling like planes across the land and sea?


Back to the raspberry.  A desire to smell it.  An instruction for the hand to raise it to the nose.  Nothing.  No smell.  Squeeze it harder.  Break up the lattice. A very faint aroma.  Barely noticeable.  Raspberryish.


In the mouth.  Gently.  The tongue acknowledges the texture.  Sentitive enough to discern it, perhaps even more than the fingers.  No flavour yet. Anticipation of the first bite.  What will it bring?  The mind recalls tangy bitterness with a mild sweetness, the former more powerful at first, the latter emerging later.


Let’s take the bite and see.  One bite.  No overwhelming flavour.  Noticing the tiny pips inside.  Now the flavour arising, at the tip of my tongue: tangy bitterness as imagined.  The saliva has carried it there.  Interesting that the side of the tongue, where the bite took place, didn’t recognise it.  Appreciation of the tongue’s varied sensors.  The tangy bitterness very prominent now.  Swill it around the mouth.  Also prominent at the back of the tongue, next to the throat.


Chewing, chewing.  No sweetness has arisen.  A pip now remains pressed between the molars.  The tongue carries it to the incisors.  It is cut, more like splintered, into three pieces.  Gradually moved along the mouth to the back and it disappears.  Now an aftertaste: subtly pleasant, like the aroma.  Perhaps this is what drives me to eat more.


Author: JD