By Helen Sulis Bowie
You say “allow mango, it’s guanabana.” I say “keep it, you’re alright” And guanabana is only available at Morley’s, I can’t be going Morley’s for Rubicon when there’s a shop next door. If we don’t have to trek to Morley’s we can lay on your bed a little longer, sheltered from the sun and the world outside.
Besides, mango and rum feels like a cocktail, or what I imagine a cocktail would be if I had ever had any cocktail that wasn’t raided from parents liquor cabinets and mixed with panda pops or leftover coffee or water straight from the tap to make it palatable.
You say, “you know that I’m in charge,” but we do not go to Morley’s, and the crack of the ring pulls on matching mango Rubicon’s suggest otherwise. At least for today.
Later, I’m the inner city girl who drinks mango Rubicon. It’s a comfort blanket, a statement of intent to girls who say they will NOT drink juice from concentrate. Who don’t own a frying pan but brought a juicer 500 miles.
They have their affectations, I have mine. We don’t even have Morley’s here so if I was a guanabana girl, who would I be any more?
That sweet mango on my lips sometimes catches me off guard with the memories of the first throes of teenage dreams, it dances on my tongue and I would let whole groves grow in my throat for those memories. But mostly, it doesn’t. I am grateful, because it is too delicious to attach to any single incident, or any single person, even you, babes.
But when I taste the guanabana, when they roll it out away from the local chicken shops and into devolved nations, I will always taste you, girl, and how the first signs of us parting ways were when I went mango, and you went guanabana.
Helen Bowie is a writer and performer based in London. Her words have recently featured at Beir Bua Journal, Eater London and Daily Drunk Mag, among others. Helen has a day job at a charity, one cat, and several bafflingly strong opinions about highly trivial matters. You can find her perplexing opinions on Twitter @helensulis, and her words at linktr.ee/helensulisbowie