I bought a pomegranate last week. This morning, I watched its gossamar membranes stretch to their limit before breaking. Juice drizzled down my fingers, oozing from the scarlet kernals, and I let it stain my cutting board.
I remember a third grade me telling the class that pomegranate was my favorite fruit. What was this strange word? There was no one to back me up. Even the teacher turned a scant eye in my direction after this proclamation. I’d try to drawn common ground in our eight-year old lexicon. It was more like corn than apples or oranges but sour like Warheads. I fell short.
Once, I invited my friend over to try one. We nestled into a blanket fort, couch cushions upturned to shield us from my mother’s view. She would have killed us if we stained her couch, but I gingerly pressed my fingers into the skin and pulled it apart. We treated the seeds like jewels, and he was converted.
Now things are different. “Antioxidant” spills off of grocery store shelves and sale people’s lips. I can buy pomegranate juice in every pseudo-bistro and health food store this side of the Loop. I can convince people they’ll like it by evoking words like “elderberry,” “tart,” and “refreshing.” Most of the time I’m grateful for the recognition when I ask the grocery boy where to find it. But every once in a while, I feel like I lost something that used to only belong to me.