Wednesday, March 21, 2012


ONIONS ARE A NUISANCE


It was a foggy Saturday evening in early Spring, the way early Spring gets up here when it heightens all the heartbreak. Like any green-thumbed shamus I was standing in my garden, my never quite finished garden, enjoying the fragrances that were burgeoning all over the place. Don't ask me about onions. Ok, ok, I was thinking about planting onions, anticipating that homegrown savor, when I should know way better than to plant onions up here.

Anticipating onions is bound to end in heartbreak, I know that too, but like a fool, again and again I throw handfuls of hope at dreams of the sultry bulbs and all they do is mock me with misty images that fade like the light in the dusk with their luscious come-ons, their tantalizing fragrances, their succulent textures, lead me on into dreams that don't even end in tears...

I was standing there lost once more in the dim reaches of unrequited vegetarianism when I heard a bunch of monkeys arguing. From somewhere below in the mountain forests came that horrible, grating sound all mountain onion fantasists abhor. When you've been up here long enough, you know that noise and what it means. You get to know it real fast if you love onions, it's not like anything else you ever heard, not like any other two creatures arguing, it’s a scrapy, whiny, selfish sound, a sound that knows no conscience, carries no morals or scruples at its heart, it is the sound of creatures that claim all onions, and it means they will be moving closer, they may be here any minute, they'd be coming for my onions, if I'd been fool enough to plant them again. Face it, onions are a nuisance.

Sure, I could wait around, grab some rocks, stand my ground, put up a nuclear-powered electric fence, but sooner or later I'll have to sleep, and then have to go away, do some shopping, buy some onions, go to a dentist, bank, post office... those monkeys may be redfaced but they're not stupid, they know things, they have savage skills, they know your habits and they can wait; they have no jobs, no place to be, no dental appointments no bank accounts, they just wait. You don't have that luxury, you're human: your life is not your own, you have a family, a job, a government, you have obligations, bills to pay, places to be, conscience, morals, papers to sign-- but not the monkeys, they occupy the other end of the responsibility spectrum. All your onions belong to them.

“But not this time,” you say to yourself in the dusk, pulling your hatbrim lower as monkeys argue in the distance...

6 comments:

esbboston said...

I love to grow carrots and onions for their blooms. I don't remember if I have told you that I have three pineapple plants, fairly large ones, with my very first pineapple fruit happening. It is now making blooms, so this is all totally new to me. I also have a fourth plant that I wasn't sure until yesterday if it was going to finally take off and start going, it has been several months with just sitting there with just the original top of the pineapple. But I don't have enough room for four large pineapple plants in my house, I am growing for a friend who has tried and failed a few times. I grow them outdoors from Jun-Aug, and then inside my back door the rest of the year.

I hope you are able to overcome your monkeys in The Onion War. I have found a couple Japanese language apps for my iPad and I am putting a bunch of concerted effort into it now, so I am improving ever so slowly into reading after a past of just Kanji.

Anonymous said...

Why bother? Onions are good and fairly cheap in the shops.. surely there are better things to grow? :-)

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

From your description of the monkeys I'll have to bet on the monkeys winning the onions. -- barbara

Juicer said...

Where you live sure does have a lot to do with the crop!

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