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Avocado Emoji

Prompt from folktale class:

Read the story of “The Dragon Prince”, not to be confused with a trilogy of fantasy novels by Melanie Rawn: Dragon Prince, The Star Scroll, Sunrunner's Fire. The retelling has been bounced around, word for word, on several websites and I can’t find its original author, so I will credit the website where I originally found a printed version.

Consider the tale’s symbolism, its underlying meaning, its relevance to our times and your own life.

Ask yourself questions that are pertinent to your life. Relate this story to your own experiences. Write what comes to mind, in whatever style suits you. Remember, there are no wrong answers, simply a sharing of minds and meaning in discussion and feedback.

What I wrote:

“Honey, the instacart order will be arriving at 1pm. Can you listen for the dog’s barking and bring the groceries in when they get here? I’m headed to walk.” Cassie locked the front door and headed down the sidewalk. Ever since the stay at home order, Cassie has been trying her best to go walking every day. It is a great chance to move her body after sitting at her kitchen table on her computer based zoom calls, emails, and writing assignments. The walk gives her a chance to get away from her kids too. They’ve been doing school from home, at the same kitchen table, for nearly a full year now. Cassie can’t remember the last time she was away from her kids longer than a couple hours.

They’d had a rough start to the morning. Cassie had forgotten to order the groceries yesterday, so breakfast was slim. The boys grabbed the last two granola bars and Cassie ate end of the bread toast with butter and honey. Thank goodness there was still coffee in the pantry. Between math assignment arguments and a discussion about only keeping one tab open on the computer, Cassie made the order for food. When she got to the confirmation page, she was disappointed to see that the first time available for delivery would be after lunch. We’ll just have to make do, she told herself. She fixed the boys a pot of boxed macaroni and cheese before she headed on her walk. She could wait for her lunch until after the groceries arrived.

Cassie wanted to wait because she knew what was coming in the delivery. Fresh avocado, limes, tomato, and corn chips; her favorite things were arriving soon. Cassie turned the corner and pressed play on her Salsa Music playlist. Tito Puente’s band serenaded her as she zipped down Euna Drive and turned left at Jaeger Circle. A text came from her husband, “How are things going at home today?” Her husband worked at the airport as a baggage handler. He’d managed to stay healthy and working throughout the pandemic. “Things are rough, but we’re managing,” she texted her husband, “Once the groceries get here, I’ll get to have my famous fixer upper!” He texted back: tomato emoji, taco emoji, smiley face.

One mile into her walk, she changed the playlist to Gloria Estefan. Miami Sound Machine always made her want to walk faster. After her last turn on Messalina Avenue, she had a quarter of a mile to go. Her steps normally got slower here, she usually was tired by this point. But today, lunch was on the way. She started drooling just thinking about the olive oil drizzled over avocado, the salty tart taste of the seasoning with lime, the tangy tomato. She’d cover a cookie sheet with chips and place them under the broiler just long enough to get them hot. She bet she’d lick the plate clean when she was done.

When Cassie got home from her walk, she was happy to see that the boys had brought in the groceries. They’d even taken the time to put all the refrigerator items away. She tried not to sigh when she opened the fridge and saw that the milk was where the juice belonged and the juice was already half drunk and sitting out on the counter. She strode to her room and tossed her coat, gloves, and hat onto her bed. Giving the boys a quick shoulder pat and a whispered “good job, guys,” she walked past their zoom calls and into the kitchen.

Cassie turned the oven to broil, grabbed the chip bag and opened it. She poured out the chips and tossed the cookie sheet into the oven. She searched through the still filled grocery bags for her ingredients. She found the onion first. As she placed it onto the counter, she also took out the toothpaste, coconut oil, rice, and pickles and put them in their right places. She chopped the onion. Her second search led her to the limes among potatoes, bananas, and edamame which she put away in their places. She cut the limes. Next, she found the tomato, slightly bruised, and sharing a bag with grits and pancake syrup. She diced the tomato. Lastly, she searched for the avocado. Eyes wide, she spied the avocado next to the Cheerios. Humming a happy tune, she reached for the avocado with glee. As she began to pull the avocado from the bag, her happy hum turned to a dull drone. It was so soft, finger pressed straight through the skin of the avocado. When she turned her hand around, she saw brown mush on her palm.

Cassie grunted, grabbed the pot holder, pulled the chips out of the oven, and turned the broiler off. She shoved the cutting board away from the edge of the counter top, washed her hands, and grabbed the chocolate bar she kept in the freezer for emergencies.

The boys could hear banging in the kitchen, “Mom, is everything ok?” Cassie stomped to her room. “Yes, everything’s fine. I need to take a moment. I’ll be back out soon.” She closed her room door, turned on Gilmore Girls, and ate her chocolate bar. After fuming, she texted her husband emojis: happy face, surprise face, Oh no! Face, sad face, devil face, skull, chocolate bar, angel halo. He texted back a heart.

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