June 30, 2004

(Let me just get the apology for the title out of the way up front)

Once upon a time, a much younger, less adventuresome and painfully shy ‘mouse (one you’d hardly recognize today) set off in a pea green boat (okay it was a silver 747) from his North American homeland to the semi-tropical island of Taiwan.  He was there to learn some Chinese, expand his horizons, and, at least in his more exciting young dreams, sow a few wild oats.

As for what happened in the grains foodgroups, well, this is a family blog, so you’re going to have to use your vivid imaginations.  This post is about fruit.  Strange fruit.  Fruit that to a horny 20-year-old in the peak of his prime shocked young senses with a radical epiphany:  Some fruit is BETTER THAN SEX!

You can shake your heads and say, “We know you ‘mouse and we know how much you like sex and there ain’t no way that’s true.” But I kid you not.

Taiwan is home to “cloud fruits” that are pear shaped and light and glow with a translucent whitish-pinkish-reddish blush that itself suggests the color of sex.  They are full of sweet water that bursts over your tongue and cools you with the slightest hint of apple and pepper on the hottest tropical days.  They’re great.  But at their very best they’re a 75 on a scale where good-average sex is 100.

Taiwan has longans.  They’re good fresh.  They’re really interesting dried.  Perhaps the closest analogy is a dried cranberry.  Except they’re sweet and nutty and rich.  A plump raisin that’s been to Fiji and packed in a ship of spices and sandlewood.  Exotic and Asian and like licking your lover’s salty skin but without the salt.  In just the right mood, they can score an 80.

Lychees.  Fresh from the tree, stored in the refrigerator just long enough to get icey cold.  Peeled and eaten whole.  A pure burst of refreshment.  The softly feminine yin to the longan’s yang.  Sweet.  Wet.  Pure.  Cold.  A 16-year-old Hawaiian nymphette and her buff lover playing under a waterfall in one of those advertisements that look too perfect.  85 points on a good day.

Milk, honey and papaya create a drink that gives you hope in a world filled with bad news.  Stopping in an air-conditioned streetside milk bar and looking out as college students walk by shiny and young and full of promise.  Papaya wraps that up and preserves it with its red flesh.  At the same time, it hints that it knows the wisdom of the ages.  Papaya must come from Egypt.  It smells of Cleopatra and the pharaohs.  But it never scores more than 88, even with honey and milk.

Then there is the slightly spicy, woody pleasure of the two different types of guava they have in Taiwan.  “Thai” style are big and crunchy and I grew to enjoy them.  I know people who swear by them, but I can’t say that even the best guava ever rated better than a golden delicious apple and that’s only a 50.  Kind of like when your lover nuzzles those soft, fine hairs on your neck just back below your right ear. 

But then there is the fruit that does it all.  Huge.  Red and gold.  Royal colors.  The skin warm from the sun.  Yielding yet firm, like a young breast, budding with potential.  Yes, I’m talking about the famous Thai mango.  After several weeks wondering if they were worth the outrageous price of $1.50 which was more than the cost of most of my student-budget meals, after feeling them up at the fruit stand and smelling their promise, I was ready to try.

I took my lover back to my room.  Luckily my roommate was out so we would have complete privacy and there would be no embarrassment and no sharing of our special moment.  I smell her deeply.  I look at her shape.  I rub her flesh against my cheek.  Closing my eyes, I feel the smoothness of her glowing orb.  As I open her up, her juices begin to flow.  I lick them from my fingers.  Again, my eyes close involuntarily.  This is going to be hot.  It’s going to be messy.  I spread a bathtowel on my desk and turn the fan up.  I take my shirt off.  I lock the door.

I bury my face in her moistness.  Juice runs down my chin.  I savor every bite.  Melting in my mouth.  Sunshine yellow made soft flesh.  Sweetness with a hint of acidity but no sourness.  No tartness.  Buttery perfection on my tongue.  I can’t stop.  Oral orgasm.  Repeated over and over.  The only way a man can understand that shuddering, wonderful potentiality of multiplicity.  120 on a scale of 100.  Eyes closed.  Senses focused. One with the universal truth.  Sated.

And then I took a cold shower and promised myself one the next day.  And the next.  And the next.  The summer passed way too quickly. 

Years later I made a quick business trip to Taiwan and discovered they were still as stunning as I remembered.  (Checking the calendar to be sure the statute of limitations has expired...) I even smuggled one back to the States to share the experience with my lover.  Risk of a $10,000 fine and jail time.  Worth it.  The things we do for love.  For mangoes.

I’d tell you about the Rainier cherries here in Washington which have just come into season but then I’d have to get excited all over again.  Let’s just say that on a good day in the right mood they’ll score a 97.  But I’m an adventuresome adult now.  Why keep fruit and sex separate?  Perhaps together there are yet-unreached heights of pleasure to be shared.

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