I ran into her at the corner market, over in the produce aisle. Among the cabbage and cucumbers. She was wearing sweat pants and a smile as she messaged the lettuce and assessed the asparagus. We brushed against each other as i nervously fumbled for a turnip.
“Do you need some help?”
“Uhh, well, yeah, I don’t really know what to make of these..”
Without a hint of condescension, she looked me in the eye and said:
“Well…those are rutabagas”
“Oh, I was looking for turnips” I nervously spouted
“An honest mistake. You see, the turnip is closely related to the larger rutabaga” she said. “Many mistake one for the other. On the other hand, I prefer the hot turnip, which grows wild in the forests of Scotland”.
Her gaze moved from digging into my eyes, to a turnip she’d picked up. She breathed a sigh as she contemplated the vast profundity of the turnip and it’s place in the universe.
“You see…” she continued, …the cultivation of turnips is very interesting.”
She returned the turnip to the pile in front of her and faced me. I swear she was looking past the thin surface of my eyes into the deep recesses of my amygdela. You know, where all the shit is hidden.
“How’s that” I asked.
“Well, for instance (her voice lowered and became breathy, barely audible), the sowing of the turnip seed may be performed by drilling machines of different lengths and girth. It’s usually done by a machine drawn by a horse with a pair of shafts, but sometimes only one. Usually the ground will be moistened to promote comfortable penetration. The shaft is carefully inserted into the soft ground, and slowly but firmly pumps up and down until the seed is planted. Sometimes the seed gets stuck and the pump must speed up until the seed can be deposited. It might take some work”
Oh, I see”, I said
“Yes, sometimes it can be a laborious process…”
“Yeah, sounds like it”
“…but usually worth it in the end”
I stammered, holding up a turnip, and said: “Well, if you end up with a vegetable as beautiful as this one, I guess so.
She smiled as she whispered in my ear:
“The turnip is just a vegetable…
“That it is” I said, trembling.
…but it’s in the making of the turnip…well, that’s where the magic is.”