A french pastry shop in Greenwich Village was where I met Sonya. She boasted of the raspberry tart. A sweet, scrumptious round treat. Berries on top of custard and a golden crust. She spoke highly of the round delicacy. She boasted this was her eighth raspberry tart.
At first bite, I chased after a raspberry, lifting like a pirate’s treasure with my fork. I smiled, accepted the reward, nibbled the sweet raspberry. Sonya I noticed was watching me, waiting for my verdict. This is being the most delicious treat in the city.
She spoke of how after eating the raspberry tart she experienced increase mental acuity. She could remember things from years ago. A birthday party given to her when she was seven. Her mother prepared a raspberry pie. The link to the pie was her anchor to her childhood.
‘I owe raspberry tarts more than I know.’ She spoke her expectations of eating the dessert. I expect I’ll see the future. All bristling with raspberries who I know in my building on West Fourth. There are raspberries on the telephone and wish me good luck. You know I play the flute and the piano. I once gave a recital for twenty-eight raspberries. All of whom I know and love. I went to high school with three raspberries.”
The raspberries according to Sonya were more than a dessert. She seemed to regard them as people. Her neighbors. Though she did point out if they found out she called them raspberries, they might object. A fact that required of Sonya to nibble another bite of her raspberry tart. A gesture that caused Greenwich Village to jiggle and bristle up bright.
(originally published in the New York Times -- Metropolitan Diary)