Oh the colors, the scent, the slippery slurp!.Leaning over, peel the skin off in a long band, let the juice sting the pesky paper cut on your hand! There are pleasures in life less grand I think, than the three of us, eating ripe mangoes over the sink.
He was an odd young man who disliked beets…my friend, The Vagabond Godfrey, riding the city bus with him was never dull, for he’d speak to anyone quite readily. The rusty bus we usually caught, was lacking charm, low on the scale of hygene and class, but it delighted Godfrey who happily rode, clutching his monthly pass. He talked to the drivers, to harried mothers, construction workers, assorted others, cheerfully chatted on every subject but beets.
On this spring afternoon we were headed together, to watch storm waves crashing in over the breakwater. (Godfrey loved to be outside in blustery weather). We had dragged my husband Garnet along, he read his book, cowboy hat pulled low, Godfrey talked, I day dreamed out the bus window. An elderly woman handed Godfrey a Mango, with her shopping trolley taking up two seats, Godfrey thanked her and introduced himself, “as one who most certainly dislikes beets”. Her trolley was loaded with mangoes, one hundred and three, the place to find mangoes, she explained to Godfrey, “there is a Mexican Spice Shop across from Greedy Muffler Repair, but that is not where the best fruit can be had, there is a Tattoo parlor, Karl’s Hair, pass the Adult Store,(I do not go in there)Turn south on Chatham, left at the bakery, take a sturdy cart for the mangoes are heavy. We bid her farewell, helped her off the bus, strolled off arm in arm, the three of us .
Garnet could walk, read, and keep his hat on in gale or full force breeze, he peeled the mango for us as we sheltered neath the Garry Oak trees. Godfrey did not have his notebook along, I gave him the phone-bill for scrap to write on, he wrote, I napped, Garnet read..this is what Godfrey said about mangoes. Oh ripe mango, in the vast realm of food, deep and sweet I wander the valley of fizzy orange drink, oh what fun to be with the ones you love, eating ripe mangoes over the sink!. We located Greedy Muffler Repair, the naughty shop across from the bus stop,(we did not go in there) We located the bakery, one we had not known of before, and we located the mangoes, stacked in stages of ripeness by my pantry door.
.Garnet Odd Writes- Godfrey, yes he disliked beets, but he was never obstrusive..Worzel and I have lived many years, doing separate projects together twice at the same time. Godfrey wandered in and out of our lives, ever seeking that “Whirled that would Rhyme” It is my turn to write in the Turquoise Chair, set my book down, hung my hat on the hook. Gotten comfy, opened the window a tad overlooking the water for air. Sassafras Tea and brandy my evening drink, there is a Tugboat coming in, the green and red harbor lights blink. A memory of Godfrey- well I promised to share, it’s the three of us eating, slurping all those ripe mangoes over the sink. I never thought at the time, how oft I would miss him. I listen for that tell tale thud in the hall, his ritual toilet double flush, the people he met on the #50 bus. It was joy he took in his freedom to roam, and all those ripe mangoes that he carted home…