My love of figs

Perhaps the reader would like to know more about the author. Well, I was born in the Year of the Horse, and while that has no bearing whatsoever on my personality, it’s always nice to bring up the Chinese, especially when explaining one’s life story.

(and then a sudden overblown tangent on figs)

From the first, I had a passion, unparalleled in this celestial plane, for figs. The fig is an exotic and heavenly fruit, you will agree, and as a connoisseur I grew up unmatched by any other in Toronto. The fig attracts me like a flame does a moth, and I have suffered such blissful and excruciating lustings after this god-fruit, that it caused me once upon a time to rent my face open with a sharp metallic device, one known to the plebeian as a fork.

Yes, it was with an ordinary fork that my inevitable fig-prompted wounds were to manifest themselves, and since this particular incident I have essayed to wean myself off the fig’s alluring and also nutritious bountitude.

Let me explain further:

One day, while lusting after figs in my usual manner—that is to say, while whistling and cavorting about a steamship, a foppish varlet, legs akimbo ‘mongst the aristos on the third deck of a Mississippi river belle—I was struck by a thought: What if, down below in the galley, there were others—more fortunate than I though poorer they were—who were enjoying all manner of figs? What if they should be partaking in the blessings of fig-eating, all the while I remained above in the periphery of such gloriousness, such figgery? I was driven to madness by the mere suggestion, and you could well guess the end result: I was driven to a crazed state of fig lusting!

I could not stand this; I sat down at once for some self-reflection. Before I could act against this ostracism from the fig-eaters in the galley, I needed for myself some wise counsel. And so I sat and pondered this strange conjecture of the figs.

But as fate would spoil my lot, a fork then fell from the sky.

A shimmering metal fork it was, silvery in colour, serpentine in shape, lethal in its treachery, or so it would prove. It clattered to the floor and I seized it; in my right hand I took it forth.

The fork I held aloft like Excalibur, as though rent from some strange and prehistoric stone, and I was brash King Arthur. I considered that perhaps the fork had been enchanted by mysterious, long-dead shamans, who with prayers and incantations had set it deep within the rock, or--in my case--had sent it clattering onto the third deck of a steamship. Perhaps this gift from above would prove to be an ally on my road of living, I thought; perhaps this fork should be a friend or helpmate in my lifelong quest, to eat as many figs as possible…

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