I sit at the computer. A dish of cantaloupe is within reach. I’ll be eating cantaloupe for days. Given the Jensen Farms cantaloupe scare, the melons are cheap. In truth, the stores can’t give them away.
Everyone is wary of Listeria. As of Oct. 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists 107 persons as having been infected. Thus far, 21 have died, five in Colorado. I read the precautions. I may not die today: two months can lapse between diagnosis and eating contaminated food. I won’t be off the endangered list until the sixth of December! I eat another piece of cantaloupe.
According to the CDC, the bacterium is commonly found in soil and water. Symptoms include fever, muscle ache, and diarrhea. “Even with prompt treatment with antibiotics, some Listeriosis cases result in death.” I take another bite. The cantaloupe is tasty.
The price was right. I bought four cantaloupe thinking that I would give a couple to the neighbors. I went door-to-door. Those who cracked their doors for me and my melons, didn’t actually make the sign of the cross, but you would have thought that I was peddling the plague. I will eat them myself. If I get tired of eating them, I’ve been told that I can freeze the flesh. I eat another wedge and wipe the juice off my chin.
There is a part of me that is always looking for a bit of drama. Listeria! Listeria could be it. I’m not keen to die, but a positive diagnosis and an antibiotic that works could be grounds for a good story.
With me, it is always about the story.
- Do you believe in fate? Does fate come from within or without?
- Robert Frost‘s poem “The Road Not Taken,” dismisses fate; rather, Frost believes that we make choices.
- Review the poem and write a personal essay in which you explore choices that you have made, or…
- Write a piece in which one of your characters is torn between two choices.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / And sorry I could not travel both / And be one traveler, long I stood / And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair, / And having perhaps the better claim, / Because it was grassy and wanted wear; / Though as for that the passing there / Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black. / Oh, I kept the first for another day! / Yet knowing how way leads on to way, / I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh / Somewhere ages and ages hence: / Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.