You know when you’re little and you play stupid little fortune telling games? Think MASH, cootie catchers, etc… (Okay, if you’re a guy, maybe you don’t know. Long story short – girls are silly. Surely you’re not just now catching on to this.) Anyway, one of the more ridiculous fortune telling games involved saying the alphabet while you twisted off the stem of an apple. Whichever letter you’re on when the stem pops off is the initial of the person you’re supposed to marry. The apple game is the most flexible of the totally ridiculous and meaningless fortune telling games because you can manipulate the initial to stand for whatever you want. Oh…wait…the stem came off at G? Is ‘G’ the first name, last name, nickname? It can vary from apple to apple.
I’ve been eating a lot of apples lately. A LOT of apples. 2 a day most days. I think it’s just a weird phase I’m going through. This week, though, I’ve found myself saying the alphabet while twisting off the stems. It’s not a conscious thing at all; in fact, most of the time the stem has popped off before I realize I’m thinking the letter ‘c’ or ‘d’ or ‘i’ or ‘f’ or ‘l’ or ‘p’ (I rarely make it past ‘p’.)
Evidently, the ridiculousness of childhood sinks in deeper to our consciousness than we’d like to admit. I can speak eloquently about Kant and Marlowe, I can read Hauerwas and understand what he’s talking about, I know Bob Dylan lyrics, I can quote copious amounts of scripture, I’m totally content and happy with being single, and evidently – in the recesses of my brain – part of me is putting stock in apple stems. I’m learning to live with the paradox that is me.