Friday, September 26, 2014


Riding on the BART train, we approached the Oakland station that would lead us across to 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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