888. Gilbert's tomatoes
© Bruce Goodman 16 March 2016

Anyway, Gilbert had always grown tomatoes. And now he was eighty-four and the doctor had said something like “Another four months and you’ll be gone.”

Eighty-four is not too bad a number, thought Gilbert. And he had just enough time he hoped to plant some tomatoes, now that the frosts had passed. He should get a few fresh tomatoes before the hearse called in to pick him up.

The tomato vines were loaded. It was as if they knew this would be Gilbert’s final season and they poured out their gratitude for his seventy years or so of caring for tomatoes. There were dozens and dozens of tomatoes just beginning to ripen.

And then… and then… (I know, dear Reader, that you think he’s going to drop dead before he gets to eat a tomato, but he doesn’t. In fact he’s still feeling quite good, especially with the medication). And then… and then… just as the dozens and dozens of tomatoes were beginning to ripen, some thief came in the middle of the night and pinched the lot.

Anyway, as it turned out, it was Gilbert’s last tomato season.

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