Today, there is grapefruit for breakfast.
I wonder idly who did the shopping. I like grapefruit, but I prefer my breakfast experience to involve less sourness. Less pursing of the lips. Less squinting of the eye.
I pick up the swollen yellow fruit and give it an experimental sniff.
And then I move my nose closer, and smell it slower, longer.
It's 1972. I am four years old, and sat happily in the child seat of a wire-frame shopping trolley. My mother is pushing it through the local supermarket in the Westside area of town. We come here every Thursday morning. I'm moving backwards as she walks and chatters to me, but this seems to make everything a little more exciting; new shapes and colours drift into view constantly from both sides, and everything begs to be picked up.
I smile as only a child can.
Suddenly, I'm aware of a sharp smell, a scent I'm unfamiliar with. I wrinkle my nose, and look up at my mother. Seeing my expression, she frowns momentarily before understanding dawns across her thirty-something face. She points to a pile of huge yellow fruit, and tells me it's called grapefruit, and that it's nice.
Back in the now, I smile at the memory.
But I'm not the only one with sharp fruit for breakfast.
Next to me, sat at the table with an unrolled set of tools, is my best friend Max. He has several grapefruit in front of him, all of which appear to be frozen. A series of electrodes are implanted into each in turn, which are connected via a misty container of liquid nitrogen to a large hotplate. The red-hot metal square fair bristles with a stack of sizzling, quickly-crisping bacon, powered only by the electricity from his super-conducting grapefruit array.
The loopy arch-genius looks anxiously at some kind of voltmeter, and cheeses a grin as he scribbles down some numbers.
I don't think he's going to eat the grapefruit.
But I don't fancy the bacon's chances.
At the other end of the table is Yavin. The badger engineer, already in his overalls, is cutting into his own grapefruit with a folding knife. His flat cap sits beside him on the tablecloth; it's bad form to wear it at the table, tho not to bring it with him.
After a few swift, precise cuts, my black-and-white companion tucks into the grapefruit with a spoon. His nose twitches and his eye winks involuntarily as he chews the juicy flesh of the fruit. And I'm pretty sure I can just hear his toes wiggling beneath the table.
I know that badgers love Bergman, but they also love citrus fruit.
And at least I now know who did the shopping.
I take another sniff of my grapefruit, and I'm again transported momentarily back through the decades.
Grapefruit are nice, Indigo.
As I slice my breakfast in half and fuss around the edges, loosening the segments, I reflect that it only took me twenty years to realise that my mother was right.
But that's okay; it happens a lot.
Most things you have to learn for yourself.
And these things take time.
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