I’m three feet tall and I love red fruit. Everyone says that’s good ’cuz when I eat ’em I get full of antiaccidents. I think that’s good too, ’cuz I don’t like having accidents. Once when I was at Johnny’s for a sleepover I had an accident and smelled like pee under his spaceship sheets. I’m eating raspberries for it. The bestest kind are the pomegranate seeds though. I feel like a king with all my expensive rubies. It’s hard to get them out though, through the tough white stuff that doesn’t taste good at all. Trust me it’s gross! But once you break into the white net you see all the little rubies tucked away in their little rooms. And then you can pick them out one by one by one, and sometimes twos. I like to line them up in a row, from one end of the counter to the other. Then I watch them. How do they get rid of my accidents? They’re so small. Sometimes I see them glowing. I bet that’s where they get their power. The glowing ruby fruit. I’m about to eat a seed, the first one. Gloooooowgllllloooowgllllooooowwww: it’s blinking. I grab it and pop it into my mouth. My grownup molars (I just got them in!) are chomping and grinding and eating the seed. The seed will sprout in my tummy and make a super-tree full of accident-fighters. They will march into my penis and guard the pee from coming out at night. I grab a bunch of pomegranate seeds and push them into my mouth. There’s red juice all over. Messy – don’t tell mom. My eyes are glowing now. I’m gonna tell mom I’m ready to go over to Johnny’s again.
I adore pomegranates; they must be the most sophisticated fruit. Some people can’t stand the work it takes to break into those luscious seeds, but that’s fine by me, more in the Waitrose aisle for us. Of course, I’ve taught Benjamin how to eat them as well. I am not raising him to be a lazy plebeian. And besides, he loves the endeavour, makes a little game out of it. But I, I love pomegranates because of their lineage. Persephone’s fruit: the symbol of lust, power, bondage. She made one false move in Hades’ lair, ate one tiny (albeit juicy) seed, and was cursed to marry him and stay in the Underworld. Sometimes late at night, when Benjamin’s in bed – hopefully not wetting it, poor thing – and Rupert is snoring on the sofa, I get up, tiptoe to the kitchen, and pull out my sharpest knife. I lift my arm above my head and bring it down, hard and precise, onto a pomegranate, its blood staining the hideous apron I got for Christmas. I rip into it and pluck out a handful of seeds, shoving them into my mouth. Their juice stains my lips and hands crimson, and I feel the tennis bracelet tighten around my wrist. I stare out the kitchen window into the dark where I see houses replicating themselves, roof after roof, making up this cul-de-sac’d hell.