Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Thing About Strawberries


This morning, my wife and I took our grandson to the country produce market we visit dozens of times each year. The first local strawberries were in, and the company’s little shortcake stand was open. The market is situated on the southeast corner at a four-way stop with fields all around. It had just rained, and the world was sparkling and new. Then, emerging from the building with our strawberries in hand, I was struck through by the absence of my friend. I knew what that moment would have meant to him. For with each new season, he would emphatically declare, “I’m going to eat more strawberries and shortcake this year.”

Never again. And that is one more thing about strawberries.


The Thing About Strawberries: 31 Dreams
by William Michaelian
22 pages. Chapbook. $5.00


Cover and four illustrations
by Neal Zirn

(2010)

MuscleHead Press
BoneWorld Publishing
3700 County Route 24
Russell, New York 13684



6.9.2010 #2
6.9.2010 #1 (drawing; marginalia)

14 comments:

ALeks said...

Or may be he eats loads of good juicy fresh strawberry's when ever he likes,that sounds much better than never again,dont you think? Beautiful post William,I just saw you,your wife and your grandson going trough the market and the world all washed up,wonderful picture!

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, you’re a good friend. I will go now and check to see if any of the berries are missing. You never know....

Woman in a Window said...

Never again. Holy shit, William, it is as though a boat just passed and I am in its wake. I will eat more strawberries this year. And cake, too, but then every year I always eat more! I'll do it with love and I'll do it alert. I will wear stains. But then this is not so new.

xo
erin

Anthony Duce said...

Your words were a little sad but only at the end. It's the endings and the memories of before the ends that make the same events so rewarding.

William Michaelian said...

Erin, when those words appeared on the page, I was as surprised by them as you were. Wear your stains proudly. He always did.

Anthony, thanks. It’s all beautiful. It hurts, but I don’t mind. I’m glad I can hurt. And I’m glad he doesn’t hurt anymore.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

in a strange way this is all part of life, yes live...
sad but warm and comforting

RUDHI - Chance said...

Sparkling story and a shake-hand to your 'old' friend. I like to read more STRAWBERRIE-DREAMS more and more; our strawberries in our garden get ready for *harvesting* for dedication ...

William Michaelian said...

Laura, that’s the way I feel about it. The joy and sadness of it go hand in hand.

Rudhi, I like your strawberry dedication!

Janice said...

This was a beautiful scene and I am happy that your "friend" was there beside you to share the moment with you...

William Michaelian said...

I am too, Janice. In fact, we still get along quite well....

all ways 11 o'clock said...

William- I went back to read your beautiful tribute to Tim. Your time together was very, so very special.
This piece, this recollection of your friend is so wonderful the sad mixed with strawberries.
A beautiful post William.

A print man, I have wondered about yourself. I was in the print trade for 22 years. I can relate to deadlines and empty pockets. HA!

William Michaelian said...

Yes, ha! and that piece about Tim sums it up well. And it still does me in. Ink in the blood, and the other way around. Robert, thanks for taking the time. We know each other that much better now.

Vatche said...

I feel the conflicting feelings in this post, William.

How you were happy and everything to take your grandson to the market and see the world refreshed by the rain.

Then, you remember the sadness for your absent friend, Tim.

However, you remember the good times with Tim, like him saying that he's going to eat more strawberries and shortcake this year.

Then, you remind yourself he'll never say it in reality, but only in your mind.

The feelings you went through at that market must have felt like cycles of happiness and sadness.

Ambivalence, to put in simple terms, sucks.

Write on, William, brilliant post!

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Vatche. It all happened at once, and in such a short space of time. But it’s less a conflict and more a joy. It feels good and hurts at the same time.