too many words by laura lemay

500 words: middle

In the Middle

So yesterday I found a coconut in the middle of a watermelon. It was a plain ordinary watermelon, I swear, I bought it from the supermarket and it was supposed to be seedless. I had planned to just slice it open for a snack and couldn’t get my knife all the way through it. But once I cut all the way around it popped right open and there was the coconut, like a giant pit inside.

How did I know it was a coconut? It was hairy like a coconut, and dark, and it had those three spots on the end. I’ve seen a coconut before, I’m not an idiot. It was wet from the watermelon but once I pulled it out when I shook it there was coconut milk in there. I could hear it. But there was something else in there, to, something big thumping around.

I went out to the garage and got a hammer and took the coconut out onto the patio and bashed it a few times. It cracked and leaked coconut milk onto my shoes but a few more whacks and it finally cracked in half.

There was an orange in the middle of the coconut. I’m telling you, I don’t know how the orange got in the middle of the coconut. I don’t know how the coconut got in the middle of the watermelon. I don’t know any of those things. The orange was ripe and fresh. What? No, it was a navel orange. It smelled like coconut.

So I peeled it. Inside the orange was an orange, but when I split the sections in the middle of the sections there was an egg. A plain ordinary brown egg. I broke the egg and got eggwhite all over my patio and in the middle of the egg there was a walnut.

So back to the hammer again. I held the walnut with one hand and just tapped it, and it cracked just a little and then I heard the chirping.

No, I’m not shitting you, don’t look at me like that, like I’d make that up after the watermelon and the coconut and the orange. Yes, the walnut was chirping. I tapped it again and it cracked right down the middle — and then it broke right open and this tiny golden bird hopped out from the middle of the shell. Gold like the sun, not gold like a parakeet. And the little bird stood right there on the patio and sang at me, like a little flute almost; then it spread its wings and flew up by my face hovered like a hummingbird, then it circled my head and flew up and away into the sky.

I’m going back first thing tomorrow and I’m going to go buy another watermelon.