In junior high I had several California Cuties. (The fruits, not the people. My game is proportional to my cup size. Then: non-existent. Now: adequate.) When I bent the peal towards it’s orange outside, a soft spray of oil would color the air fresh and bright. I often forgot the rinds in my childhood room, falling asleep to the scent.
Limes smell like summers in college. Vibrant and green, they cut harsh tequila and rum, coupling with ice. My brother mixed the limes with bakers sugar, rum, and mint at my sister’s bridal party. We drank pitchers of the stuff and spent the next day in a dim room with cheap pizza.
Lemons remind me of my mother. She bought special Meyers to make my sister’s friend her favorite pie. The young woman had just lost her parents and found the holidays painful. So, the night before Easter, my mother juiced a dozen of the green fruit with yellow insides. She combined the zest with sugar in the food processor. Sweet citrus kissed the kitchen counter and my greedy hands.
I never cared for grapefruit. At eight, I piled spoonfuls of sugar on the first one my aunt gave me. She didn’t give me a second. Fourteen years later, I found I liked it mixed with gin.
My brother and sister went to Thailand, meeting a beautiful country and his girlfriend’s family. They brought back a love of pomelos and found some at a local Asian Market. I had never tasted the citrus, it’s with yellow exterior and thick, foamy peal. It look five minutes to get to the flesh inside: soft grapefruit and lime.
Stay alive for the scent of citrus. The promise of pomelo and the give of lime, for the tastes that make our mouthes come alive.