Nine Ways to Eat a Watermelon

By Robin Silver

Cut in half, with a spoon, immersed in a wartime movie. The Great War is best, followed by Vietnam, but any will do. Hopefully, there will be at least one passionate kiss before you hit the rind.

Off a paper plate, sliced in triangles, fingers of your writing hand grasped around the green, the other hand under the table, to hide the discreet reserve of seeds.

Sucked through a straw placed in a hole carved with a penknife and spit into the trash can. Carefully, so as not to ruin the integrity of the rind. It is the best bong you’ve ever smoked.

In the fifth grade, on a class picnic. Jeremy, who everyone calls Germy, who sits across from you in math, tells you that if you swallow the black seeds a watermelon tree will grow inside your belly. You tell him that watermelons don’t grow on trees. It is years before you drunkenly make the connection between “seed” and something else, quite similar in size to a watermelon, growing inside your belly.

While nude, in bite-size pieces brought to you by room service eaten, suckled really, out of your lover’s fingers in a soft, downy all-white bed.

Off a tiny golden fork at a fancy party. Some juice sneaks down your chin and you can’t get to the napkins without passing people whose opinion of you really matters. You feel shame. You shouldn’t.

Alone on a hot Sunday night, in the kitchen of a penthouse apartment in a foreign country, as you can hear the strains of a singing competition from the TV in the other room. American Idol in Chinese? you think, chewing slowly. Not American. Stupid. You swallow a seed, coughing softly.

Spooned greedily from the inside of a pail into your mouth, sitting on a mountaintop, wearing a dress made of a fabric that you don’t know what it is but you do know that it is itchy as hell. Wait, isn’t this the dress your sister wore to her bat mitzvah? What the fuck is going on? You wake up in a cold sweat, still tasting the juice on your lips.

With a ghost.