Santa put a pomegranate in my stocking.
I think I gave a more surprised and delighted squeal at this unexpected treat than I did at the other more overtly desired gifts I recieved.
I’m a bit of a pomegranate junkie, and yet I rarely eat them. They’re expensive and Perfect Husband, like most people, has no interest in them. Buying a pomegranate is therefore an indulgence I rarely allow myself, like massages and cheesecake.
What’s the big deal? You ask. It’s just a fruit. Sure, it might cost three or four bucks, but so does a Dairy Milk bar.
You see, eating a pomegranate is not LIKE eating a chocolate bar.
Conditions have to be just right in order to truly enjoy a pomegranate. It’s a sensual indulgence as well as a gustatory one. I love to break it open and see the seeds glittering inside. As a child, I always imagined that if one could eat rubies and garnets, they would taste like pomegranate. The inside of a pomegranate looks like a treasure trove filled with rich red jewels.
Delicious, EDIBLE jewels.
I break them free with my hand, prying them out of every crevice, and they shower into a bowl like gems poured from the coffers of an Empress.
I usually lose control before I have entirely emptied the rind of the fruit. With one or two more quarters left unplundered I usually start digging my hand into the pile, shovelling the seeds into my mouth while smacking and mumbling in ecstasy. When I have scraped every last aril out of the bowl I break into the remaining quadrant, scrabbling desperately for every last delicious morsel.
Did you know that some people believe that the Fruit of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden was meant to be a pomegranate, not an apple? It explains a lot, in my opinion. I like apples a lot, in fact, I love apples. But they aren’t pomegranates. Don’t forget, it was for the sake of six pomegranate seeds that Persephone doomed herself to an eternity in Hades. Clearly, women have a thing for pomegranates.
In any case, I need a lot of time and space in order to indulge in my pomegranate habit. It’s not like an apple which you can set down for a moment when the baby cries. Pomegranate juice squirts, and it stains.
Within minutes of digging into my little bowl of rubies, my entire hand and my face are stained a deep, purplish red. Usually my arms and sometimes my clothing are covered by red splatters. As I root in the bowl, scooping out dripping red lumps and picking out bits of whitish rind, I begin to resemble a zombie digging into someone’s skull for a fresh handful of brains. My possessive clutching of the bowl and tendency to growl at people who might come near me probably adds to this effect.
Anyway, the timing has to be just right in order for me to enjoy a pomegranate, and that time just did not present itself on Christmas Day. I brought my pomegranate with me to Perfect Husband’s parents’ house, but decided that I probably shouldn’t unleash my pomegranate fiend in their tidy little house (if you were to rearrange the magnets on their fridge, my father-in-law would notice and ask you to put them back the way they should be).
So the pomegranate came with us back to BC.
But still the moment didn’t present itself.
After all, when a baby could cry for me at any moment, when can I feel really SAFE to start eating my pomegranate? To be disturbed during a pomegranate frenzy would be unbearable.
Babby, snuffly and whiny with his cold, went down at nine and woke up twice before midnight. I put him down for a third time, and then grit my teeth. Vowing to myself that if the baby woke up again, I would tell a perplexed Perfect Husband that he would have to make do without my boobas, I went downstairs and sliced open my glistening Persian fruit.
Then I carried it upstairs and locked myself in the bathroom, where I could enjoy my pomegranate the way Eve probably did in Eden.
Naked and in the bath.