Tomato Fertility Party

1 August, 2010

me and the king

Last night I hugged a king. Now, this particular king and I, well, we usually consider each other friends (minus the occasional heated philosophical examinations of quantum science), so it was really fun to hear his name announced as the King of tomatoes, and then to watch his normally stoic tanned face turn as red as the bike helmet they placed on his head. He danced around the circle with the past queens and kings to the percussion of tubas and sousaphones, all bedecked in their red capes and sashes, red eyes and sheepish grins.
TOE-MA-TOE (hey!) they chant, over and over and louder and louder, urging everyone to join the circle around the campfire. I spot the king’s father and walk up to him, his long gray beard a beacon in the sea of red. I poke him in the side and he looks over and says “Lea! I didn’t know you were here! How about Alex, huh? I didn’t nominate him, I swear!” Another past king walks up and starts talking; after about five minutes I dip away to find Eli and maybe some more of the cookies that you have to ask John for.

There are so many ways to tell this story, so people to quote. The party has been happening since 1979, with most of the past Kings and Queens still in attendance. I could tell the story of a local OG farmer who lost his battle with cancer this winter, and how the small community gathered around, volunteering at his farm and stall, and how they paused the hedonistic ceremony to talk about him, and name his daughter as queen. I could tell you that there is always a shrine, always music, costumes, rituals, foods, how funny it is to see Old hippies drunk off their assess on tequila while little red children run around screaming and covering their little smeared faces in ice-cream and cobbler. I could tell this story any number of ways, and yet none seem totally sufficient.

This is the first try. I’m sure there will be more to come.

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2 Responses to “Tomato Fertility Party”

  1. harlequin Says:

    thank you.

  2. smoothpebble Says:

    jealous. and you are beautiful!


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