The Watermelons of Formosa

At first every week, and now every few days, the price of watermelon drops. Over the weekend I heaved one into the basket of my newly repaired bike. This turned out to be a mistake. The sheer weight of the fruit caused the metal support strips to bow outwards. I’ve finally figured out where all the water in dry Formosa goes—Into the watermelons. I sheepishly pushed the basket back into shape.

Today my roommate A and I stopped at the fruteria for another one. We are learning how to tell a good one from bad. The shopkeeper jokes with us and says we knock on our heads first and then see which watermelon matches that sound. I mime knocking the watermelon against my head. He laughs and starts tap-tap-tapping on the mountain of watermelon. This one, he says, and makes us test the sound ourselves with our knuckles. We carry our new load to the truck. Upon arriving at home, we brainstorm ways to consume the behemoth. But we don’t need recipes for fruity cocktails, any “twists on an old favorite”; we cut thick slices and make stacks on plates and bite right in.


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