Harzi

Philippines

Always shocked when people actually remember her name •
Fascinated by neuroscience •
Plays a few musical instruments •
Loves windy days (and nights) •
Maybe a cat •
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Message from Writer

"How strange it is to be anything at all."
- Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Bitter Melons Have Cherries

July 30, 2020

Harvest time. 
      Of all the vegetables Mama cultivated in our garden, one medium-size bitter melon was left unharvested. I don’t know why; all the others were gathered. And it just hung in its vine – alone, untouched and disregarded – for approximately one and a half week. Then I decided to pick it out and put it in a fruit basket, but I think it was still as lonely if not more so. And I forgot about it again.
      One day, my brother noticed its wrinkly surface transforming into a bright shade of yellow, almost like a ripe mango’s. Of course, it’s obviously ripening, I told him. In only a matter of hours after that encounter, the bitter melon’s head started to open up like a flower budding. I was initially perplexed, and so I asked my brother if he, in any way, touched the vegetable, but he refuted.
      Thus, we suspected that it was a bitter melon’s natural phenomena, an inevitable reaction to its ripening existence. I marked the areas where the fissures had started and down to where it may possibly reach if it were to resume its revolt. Proven enough, by nightfall, the fissures exceeded all the insignias. The crevices have become giant slits sprinting halfway along the now yolk-colored vegetable’s body. Its thick, ripply skin has divided into three archs bending outwards. It was akin to a peeled banana and a blossoming frangipani, except that inside its half-hollowed vessel, there is an array of red, velvety nubbins. Bitter melon cherries, I called them. The cherries were not the seeds, but rather the soft membrane enclosing it. Their bloody color shouts amid the brightness of their own casket, and it was beautiful.
      I used to pity bitter melons, since it was one of those vegetables that most people would have eliminated from their meals if it were not for its extensive health benefits. It isn’t the fanciest; it isn’t the prettiest; it isn’t the most ambrosial or palatable. But marveling at this metamorphosis, I realized that I shouldn’t douse this vegetable with any remorse or pity. It may not be the most divine and dulcet for the societal taste buds. It may not be the most conspicuous in the garden, but in its own time and pace, in its own environment, it would be able to uncloak itself from all the bitter facade. Just as I had witnessed. It is not the type of aging that rots, because it would only ripen, and ripen more – even when no one seems to care. Until it would burst with the finest cherries from the depths of its soul.
      And so would I.

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1 Comment
  • And_The_Stars_Laughed

    Wow -- your imagery and description in this piece is wonderful, I was really able to imagine what the melon looked like!! I especially loved the lines "The crevices have become giant slits sprinting halfway along the now yolk-colored vegetable’s body. Its thick, ripply skin has divided into three archs bending outwards." Incredible job!! :)


    3 months ago