-This story is an attempt to reclaim and recreate a few moments in the life of a fictitious tomato named Tommy ‘” I shall refer to myself as “I”, and as I discuss this story and ask your opinion, you and I shall be “we’.
‘” That is a pretty clever name for a tomato, don’t you think? It took me hours of deep thought to come up with it. Tommy is the happy spirit of the tomato since you cannot end a spirit’s life easily, or even, for that matter, at all.
[Tommy will exist only in your imagination, and there, he will stay!]
“Tommy awoke to the warm glow of the morning sun. The night had been cool and now the sun was shining brightly and Tommy’s body was getting rounder and rounder as the day progressed. His skin had started out green, but as the day progressed was developing a nice, red color.”
[That was a direct quote from me, just so you know, hence the quotation marks!]
Tomatoes do, in fact, have some happy times. For a glorious, but short, period of time, they regale in an open air space, breathing in the outside air, basking in the sun, being washed by rains, dried off by kind breezes, being nourished by nutrients in the soils.
[Does that tomato ‘˜breathing’ thing creep you out?]
Oh yes! Tomatoes can have a wonderful life. Who wouldn’t dream of being able to just relax and do nothing, or do as one wished, as they desired? Many would aspire to the same.
[That tomato breathing thing is still getting a giggle from me, sorry!]
You may ask now, how did Tommy’s life begin? One could hope that there was a great beginning. Like most tomato beginnings, it was not very eventful. You may have to judge for yourself. For heavens sake, go easy on me. It is just a darn tomato!
[I am trying to be dramatic. Work with me. ‘” We need to imagine some quiet, soothing music, perhaps..]
The adventure of what has now become Tommy’s life had started out as a small, flat, round seed, tan in color. The seed was taken to a place called “The Garden”, where there was an abundance of rich, black dirt, and a single tomato seed was inserted in the ground, below the soil.
[Well. I am not going to lie to you. I planted forty tomato plants.]
An exciting thing happens when you dig a hole in a sunny location, place a tomato seed in the dirt, about 2 inches deep, and allow the roots to grow. Soon, as patience will show, the green tops will push through the dirt, and their stems will get taller and taller. This growth of green is referred to as a -tomato plant -. Most tomato plants get a large green top. It takes up to seventy days of growth, before they start blossoming with small, yellow flowers.
You don’t think placing a seed into the ground is exciting? You don’t think that you’d be out in the garden yelling, “Woohoo!!! I just put a seed in the dirt!! Yayy!! Yayy! Yayy!!!”
[Okay. Fine. Be that way. Do not show your feelings.]
Can you picture it? – The scenario. There it was: A little seed. All alone. Waiting. Wondering. “is there anyone out there? Can anyone me? “Hello? Hello?”
[Oh. I just want to dig it back up and give it a hug!]
Let me tell you a little about his family. Tommy’s mother was a variety of tomato, referred to, in her circles as the Better Girl. Tommy loved his mother. He wanted to grow up to be very much like her. His mother was a rich, robust, full-bodied tomato and had a sharpness about her that; at times was sour; yet, she was very sweet. She too, had the same red quality to her skin and had, in her youth, been green also.
I did not know Tommy’s father, so any mention of a father figure would be greatly misleading and untrue.
We, as in you and I, have met Tommy’s mother, but we hardly know anything about his father, but I suspect that there was a random bee that came buzzing through the garden one day.
[Yes, dear. A bee!]
Let me try to explain what I mean. Bees are attracted to the flowers. Billy the Bee was responsible for the birth of Tommy. You see, Billy had taken pollen from one blossom to another blossom, and that act caused the blossom to produce a tomato. Tommy had come from one such blossom.
[-Are you understanding that we are talking about the birds and bees here? Although, True, we are discussing only ‘˜bees’ here — ]
Whispers and spells, “p ‘” o ‘” l ‘” i ‘” n ‘” a ‘” t ‘” I ‘” o – n-“.
It is the belief of many, that you cannot have a story about a tomato that has a happy ending. We all know that no matter what, the tomato is going to come to an untimely demise, whether eaten; or it reaches maturity and over-ripeness and simply rots into a unsightly mess of mold and bugs.
[I know, I know. We are both going to need counseling after this story is done!]
The following is an imaginary example of one of the raw facts of the end of a tomatoes life: “Oh, this cannot be good,” thought Tommy the Tomato as he uneasily looked in front of him and saw the cutting board, knife and plate with two slices of toast, some lettuce, miracle whip and some slices of crisp bacon.
[You may smile and nod.]
Yes. A tomato’s life usually ends badly. That said, Tommy is the spirit of the tomato and you cannot end a spirit’s life easily, or even, for that matter, at all. Tommy is not going to come to this type of end. Not in this story, at least. For further point, contrary to popular belief, tomato family reunions are not held in fruit jars. We, however, are not concerned with the bad side of Tommy’s life. Life usually has a beginning, a middle, and, unfortunately, an ending. And. Here it is.