Thursday, December 22, 2011

PASSION FRUIT AND PAPAYA - A LOVE STORY




PASSION FRUIT AND PAPAYA - A LOVE STORY


'Is there anyone sitting there?'
Said the red anorak with a smile.
'Not that I know of!'
Said a blue woollen jacket
Neat on a flowing floral skirt,
Spiced with indifference.
'I missed my bus....!'
And flushed cheeks make to sit down
On an already-taken Stephen's Green bench.
Panic!
The blue, pink and mauve pansies
Fumble left to the edge....
To maintain the distance:
'Damn that bus!'
The red hood comes down
As the piercing rain gives up,
But her walls of self-preservation,
Withhold....
Strong....
Stalwart....
Cemented with fear.
Not content to look straight ahead;
He turns towards her.
'Fear of us!
It'll make Christmas shopping a lot easier
Anyways....
Anyways, as I was saying....
................................job.....
........broke...............flat.......
.....missed........interview........
........girlfriend...........ring.........!'
'Why is he telling me all this....
A perfect stranger!
Christ another orphan stone
Reaching out for.... for....!'
She swallows.
'I'm really a gardener....
My friends thought I was a cissy,
Because I liked growing things with my oul fella....
Yer know yourself....
Flowers and vegetables....
Oh.... and fruit!
Even papayas and passion fruit....imagine!
He had an old rickety lean-to glass-house
And a plot that ran down to the Canal.....
And the SWANS!
Jaysus, they were the best-fed swans in Drimnagh!
All the neighbours' stale bread....
My legs would be run off me!
And you....?
SILENCE
The silence was awkward,
Even for her.
'I'm a singer....
Well....in training.'
'Really?'
She turned slightly towards him;
Knotted stomach untangling,
In the blue of his interested eyes.
'I haven't a note in my head,' he laughs.
'But I can whistle!'
The anorak and woollen coat both laughed;
Shoulder to shoulder,
And watched a squirrel rummaging....
Pin-striped suits striding....
Headscarves with shopping bags struggling....
Dogs on leads dragging,
Winter sun setting....
Lovers....doing.




Elsie fell in madly love, that rainy evening in St. Stephen's Green, with a gardener, called Joe. Six months later, when he proposed to her, he whispered her name at least a dozen times, before admitting that even though he could not give her a ring at that time, he still had something special to give her. On bended knee, he produced two passion fruits and a papaya from his pocket: 'Elsie will you marry me? Please let these gifts of nature and fruits of my labour signify our passion for each other; that we shall never be afraid to LIVE; that we shall never satisfy the hunger for each other or Life's opportunities.' Everything excited Joe. It was both infectious and addictive.


There were never floral bouquets from Joe on opening night. No not at all. Sitting in front of the dressing table in the nursing home, Elsie recalls the reflection in the bulb-studded dressing room mirror, of not only herself, transformed into Tosca, Butterfly, and Violetta, but also that of a golden box, in which, nestled two passion fruit and one papaya ...and a card....which read: 'Still hungry Elsie!' 





Maureen Walsh - December 2011

1 comment:

Heaven said...

This story touched me...love the meaning of two passion fruit and papaya ~