Friday, September 26, 2014

SHARING AND SELFISHNESS

Riding on the BART train, we approached the Oakland station that would lead us across to O.co baseball park to see the Oakland A's play. My husband and I go to a half dozen day games where we enjoy the sun, the goings-on in the stands, and the play on the field.

At a game I still wait for the "Peanuts, Crackerjacks" call of the vendors who sprint up and down the stands through all nine innings. We don't buy Crackerjacks, but Bill and I both love peanuts and we often share a bag during a game. In a full bag, one peanut looks like all the others. The shells are shaped like a human body without the arms, legs, or heads. Inside are the nuts we crave.


Bill digs his hand in the bag. I dig in next. We each get a handful. We each want to make sure we get our fair share. I look at his handful. He looks at mine. Satisfied, we begin to crack the shells, pop the nuts --one or two -- into our mouths,  and crunch on the salty treats. By the end of the bag, we both have a circle of spent shells around our feet. Neither of us wants to take the last peanut from the bag. It's already broken -- the Old Maid of the bag. Bill leans over towards me with the bag, and I finally take the last one.

I look at the mottle, brownish-gold casing with its hairline cracks running through. The casing is tough though, and holds on to the nuts within. I crush the shell with my thumb and it splits. I push the nuts out into my hand, pop them into my mouth, and drop the shell without care on the ground. I didn't offer Bill one of the nuts.

The peanuts brought out our selfishness when we both coveted a handful, yet we also were mindful of the other as we passed the bag back and forth. We played with the last peanut shell until Bill offered it to me, and I forgot that I could have shared its contents.

We went to a game in Tokyo. At the end of the game everyone picked up their own trash! (peanut shells included)


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