In fact, I don’t feel like talking to anyone. Even so, I keep answering the phone. Yesterday, my mother was surprised to hear I’d taken a jicama to the checkout line in her grocery store and chaos ensued.
Tata: The cashier was a large, happy man who asked what it was and couldn’t find jicama in the computer, so he called the line supervisor.
Cashier: Passion! What’s the code for a jicama?
Passion: How much is an enema?
Cashier: Jicama! Jicama?
Tata: J-I-C-A-M-A. It’s produce.
Mom: Did she find it?
Tata: Yeah, it was $1.49 a pound. You should go buy one of those.
Today, Mom called to tell me she’d gone to the grocery store and I once again answered the phone!
Mom: I got a jicama. What do I do with it?
Tata: Take a very sharp knife and peel it. Then cut off the top and bottom.
Mom: Mine doesn’t have a top or bottom. It looks kind of like a potato but it’s shaped like an heirloom tomato.
Tata: Peel it. You can shave it onto your salad or cut it into a small dice and saute it with onions.
Mom: Is it a fruit or a vegetable? What is it?
Tata: It’s crisp and light like an apple or a pear, with a delicate sweetness. You will like it.
Mom: I will like it. That sounds good!
Tata: This is so exciting!
I didn’t tell her Sweetpea is in the hospital and I was coping by preparing mountains of delicious food, but she didn’t have to tell me she’s coping with frustrations of her own. She’s getting over pneumonia and wants to get outside and do yardwork, which could put her in the hospital, so instead she prowled around the produce aisle. I don’t have to ask how she feels. She’s got castenets.