Sometimes your photo shows up in the “memories” slideshow my phone auto-generates. That or the one with the first kohlrabi I ever actually experienced— the one Bella brought on that hiking trip. She had packed some extra hummus to enjoy it with, and I loved that bland-ish-sweet-ish-peppery-ish crunch, a little dirty, pared with the camping knife she had earlier used to slice a block of cheese, snacked with a view over the San Francisco bay. It was wonderful. When I returned to my apartment in Philadelphia, I went to the grocery store and paused in front of you and the others, placed perhaps fittingly between the beets and the leeks. You were oddly perfect, all stacked in a neat pyramid under the artificial rainstorm. Recalling the beautiful multi-sensory experience from the hiking trail, I grabbed you and brought you home with me.
You sat on my pantry shelf for the next week. Friends would ask what you were, and I would excitedly recount to them the delicious memory of that kohlrabi on the hiking trip.
I took you for granted as you sat there another week. Sorry about accidentally knocking you off a couple times while reaching around you for other snacks and fruit. It is still amazing to me how low-maintenance you were. That next weekend, I watched the first 23 seconds of a cooking video excitedly demonstrating how to prepare a kohlrabi. I video-chatted Bella and brought you to my computer to show you off. You sat there on the corner of my desk another half week before you started sprouting. We had some fun. I took a photo and laughed at how long I had still not eaten you, yet you showed little to no signs of decay from my neglect. I found fun in idly twirling you on your irregular humps. I imagined that powerful people in high offices probably played with their glass paperweights in a similar way.
Some evenings later, it was finally about time to bring you to your intended purpose. I admired you for the nice small stalk you had managed to grow in the corner of my dingy half-underground bedroom. Despite losing a bit of that luster you exhibited in the store, you had managed to remain free of any bruises or softness I had come to expect from produce I had brought home like this in the past. I headed to the kitchen, playing around with your heft and thinking about that foggy bay view, sitting next to Bella, crunching on creamy tahini spread atop that vaguely-peppery-green sensation.
I rounded the pantry corner and arrived at your final destination. I watched as you disappeared to the bottom of the trash bin with a “thunk,” your density pushing past the other discard. Some things aren’t meant to be experienced the same way twice.
Thank you anyway,