My Tomato

William Blome

I grew a huge tomato last summer, so heavy I pondered emailing Guinness or Ripley’s and going after a record or two, but before I thought better of things and went to cancel what I had messaged in haste, the Ripley’s folks had already notified me that shit on size, shit on weight, shit on shape: the record-breaker here was, in fact, my tomato’s particular shade of red. There wasn’t—and had never been, they said—any other red quite like it.

I was surprised beyond belief, so stunned that I was to stay indoors past a fortnight afterward, incommunicado to all save my sexy, erection-causing neighbor, who, during this time, announced her presence on my porch twice-a-day, every day, by scraping a cooking spoon against the side of the pot of stew she brought over afternoons and evenings. During the fifteen days of my self-imposed confinement, this top- and bottom-heavy neighbor and I made love twenty-eight chalk-on-slate-screeching times; to this day, our stains are omnipresent on fibrous things throughout my home.

But, you see, I had never sent a photo or mentioned anything to Ripley’s about my great big tomato’s color. Zip. So, from lots of pondering and hand-wringing, I’ve come to figure things this way: unless I had shipped them the tomato itself by some rapid and special delivery, or unless my neighbor be some stealthy and weird undercover agent, then how in hell did they know squat about my big tomato’s true color?