photo is courtesy of Deb and Sabrina.
He didn't mind the tomatoes so much, although the smell lingered on his hands. He didn't even have to handle the fruit; the scent stained his fingers after touching only the plant. He'd worn gloves once, pruning and harvesting through the leather. But he couldn't determine ripeness without a gentle touch, and he ached for the feel of life against his skin.
The onions and garlic left no smell, unless he cut them. But he forgave them, even though their scent never truly washed away. Sometimes at night, when he curled up in bed, rolling onto his side and tucking his hands under his cheek, they haunted his dreams. But they never voiced accusation, never asked for mercy as he hovered above them with a knife. And so he never gave it.
The beans were among his favorite. They grew tall, shading him from the curious gazes of the neighbor's children, and bloomed with beautiful purple flowers. They were easy to harvest, easy to prepare, easy to eat. And there were so many kinds to choose from. He never felt lonely when he leafed through the catalog, trying to limit his years' bean selection to a mere few varieties.
But, sometimes, despite the life growing around him, he was lonely. And sometimes he was lonely because of it.