Long Lost Avocados
I don’t know why she popped into my head that snowy evening in upstate New York. I hadn’t seen her in years. Maybe it was the blistering cold that forced my brain to recall something warm like sunshine. That’s what she was like: sunshine. She was so tall, and her eyes so blue, and her hair like golden corn silk. We became friends during a summer Y camp sometime between elementary school and junior high. I was awkward, and short, and still growing out of my baby fat (okay, I’m STILL growing out of my baby fat). She was popular, and sweet, and well versed in all things girl and cool; like slumber parties, and lock-ins, and boys. But I did bring something to the table: food.
We would often come to my house after school, because I lived a couple blocks away, and her mom could pick her up later. Even back then, I was always whipping up milkshakes, or inventing sandwiches and mocktails for my friends. One day, I threw a tortilla on the stove, flipped it, sliced up an avocado, sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top, and handed it to her on a paper towel. She was reluctant at first, “What’s this green stuff?”
“Green stuff! It’s avocado, Elizabeth!”
She had never had avocado! I didn’t understand, as I’d been eating it since the womb, but now, here I was present for someone’s first avocado. That silky, fatty richness like butter, but earthier and infused with sunshine. I guess she sort of returned the favor, because sometime later, I had my first kiss in her backyard with my longtime crush. I knew she had set it up for me. Her father died around the end of junior high, and I remember her telling me that when she married one day, she’d walk down the aisle holding his urn. High school took us our separate ways, she moved away, and we lost touch.
The snow was swirling around me, and the sidewalk precarious, so my thoughts came back to the present. Maybe I could look her up, but I had heard she married some years ago and didn’t know her last name now. Had she held his urn down the aisle after all? My little inn was shining in the distance and I hurried to get back inside.
The next morning, I awoke to a facebook message from none other than my long last friend, Elizabeth. She had three beautiful children and was living in Florida, the sunshine state of course. I shrieked with joy at the sheer coincidence and ran through all the possibilities of how it is that sometimes in life, we find ourselves completely in sync with someone miles and miles away from a previous lifetime. But perhaps the answer lies in something as simple as a slice of avocado. Because she wrote me this:
I was just thinking of you a few weeks ago when I had an avocado. I remembered how you introduced me to the delish fruit. You put avocado on a tortilla for our after school snack. Then my mom asked me about you yesterday. She said she thought she saw you on a tv show. That's crazy how we both popped into each others head. Great childhood friendship memories.
Find the recipe inspired by this tale HERE