In search of the perfect tomato, Lou hits the Sunday Farmer’s Market. The heirlooms are extravagant. One purplish green monstrosity is on the grotesque side. He examines it closely, pulls back, sees the farmer staring, and realizes the old guy resembles his tomato the way some people resemble their dogs.
“How much for one?” Lou hopes for expensive; it’ll be easy to say no. He remembers the cherry tomatoes his mother grew and ate from the vine, tossing one to Francis the German Shepherd, who politely swallowed it and waited for another.
“One dollar,” says the farmer.
So much for highway robbery. Not wanting to offend, or appear miserly, Lou forks over a buck and takes the tomato home, thinking grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. But when he slices the heirloom he forgets all about the sandwich and the farmer and how the tomato looked. From the first exquisite bite, Lou savors the taste of summer—this summer and all the summers from his past.
teaches “low fat fiction” and is the author of four collections of short
Grace (KYSO Flash Press, 2019), Soundings and Fathoms: Stories (Finishing
Line Press, 2018), House Samurai (Iota Press, 2006), and Parts &
Labor (Thumbprint Press, 1992). His stories have appeared in dozens of venues
including Carve, daCunha, Flashback Fiction, KYSO Flash, Sea Letter, Third
Wednesday, and Exposition Review, where he was twice a Flash 405 winner.
In 2018, his flash was nominated for the Best of the Net anthology.
Born in the Chihuahua desert near the Mexican border, Guy grew up on a stingray in
Ventura, learned to write in the Peace Corps during a civil war in Guatemala, honed his
craft pulling weeds and planting flowers as a gardener in San Francisco, and later
received his M.A. from San Francisco State, where his teaching career began.
He’s been a creative-writing midwife since 1991.
Guy lives on a houseboat with his wife and a salty cat, and walks the planks daily.
It’s all true, especially the fiction.
Author’s website: https://www.guybiederman.com/
This Day Afloat: Reflections of Life on the Water,