Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cantaloupe 1971

I'm allergic to pollens of the ragweed botanical family. Bananas and chamomile tea really set me off. I never know if cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, or sunflowers will send me sneezing. I hope not, because I want to know what is different about a Dulcinea cantaloupe.

Kroger had Dulcinea cantaloupe on sale, so I got one. Dulcinea is the name of Don Quixote's envisioned female perfection. Funny that buying a cantaloupe with a brand sticker can send me on a memory trip to 1971.

Fritzi and I had planned to attend the Nebraska Repertory's "Man of La Mancha" together that summer, but she had to have "some female surgery". As a young teen, I had only the vaguest uncomfortable inklings of the complexities of female plumbing. These days my contemporaries have ongoing story sagas with their "female plumbing". Cantaloupe is a memorable scent. So is the smell of the House of Bauer's Bavarian Mints that I took my mom in the hospital.

Dulcinea... Dulcinea... I see heaven when I see thee, Dulcinea, And thy name is like a prayer An angel whispers... Dulcinea... Dulcinea!

PADRE: To each his Dulcinea
That he alone can name...
To each a secret hiding place
Where he can find the haunting face
To light his secret flame.
For with his Dulcinea
Beside him so to stand,
A man can do quite anything,
Outfly the bird upon the wing,
Hold moonlight in his hand.
Yet if you build your life on dreams
It's prudent to recall,
A man with moonlight in his hand
Has nothing there at all.
There is no Dulcinea,
She's made of flame and air,
And yet how lovely life would seem
If ev'ry man could weave a dream
To keep him from despair.
To each his Dulcinea...
Though she's naught but flame and air!

My students are unaware of windmills, and as unlikely to tilt at them as they are to dial a rotary phone. A Bauer's Bavarian mint would taste great right now.

Mom sewed this dress for me that summer.

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