If I were a tomato

If I were a tomato it would be hard going, for, frankly, I hate tomatoes. The
worst thing in this life, worse than rain in the vacations, low grades at school or being
caught in the act, is not liking ourselves. If I were a tomato, I would hate myself.
Eating out at a snack bar is fun, but when a cheeseburger with salad comes, it
is better to have a close look. There is always a tomato hiding behind the lettuce, or
disguised as mayonnaise. I am sure they do it on purpose, just to see the face of the
customers gagging. It is a common thing in a snack bar to hear a giggle coming from
the kitchen.

Truth to say, I don’t even know what a tomato is. If it is cereal, a vegetable, a
fruit, a legume, a bush, a root or a creeper. A green it is not, for greens are green. It
may grow on the ground, like an ant or an earthworm. Maybe it comes in bunches. It
may be anything. Now, what it is good for, nobody has ever found out. I asked my
teacher what is the function of the tomato in this world we live in. He told me to shut
up and pay attention to the class. In my opinion the tomato is not good for any damn

I had two dreams. In the first one I was flying through the sky like a bird,
whistling, with a little warm breeze blowing on my face. Something came over me all
of a sudden: I started to fall and fall until I fell sprawling on the ground. When I came
to myself I was all bloody and surrounded by white snakes. Some of them were coiled
around my body. I shook. I felt the slow breath of death. I screamed. And that was not
even blood. It was tomato juice. I had fallen into a giant dish of macaroni. In the other
dream we were in class and somebody meowed like a cat, teacher Ms. Miller stopped
the class, threw on the ground the piece of chalk and opened wide her eyes. She
started to swell, to grow bigger, and to grow redder and became a very large tomato,
wearing glasses and a ponytail. Then she pulled a guitar I know not from where and
started to dance rock and roll.

How many are the marvels that nature offers us! Crunchy ice cream with a
whipped cream topping. Love apple candy. Chocolate with praline. Sweet peanuts,
sold in long paper bags at the doors of movie theaters. I phoned my father and asked
him who invented tomatoes. He got angry, he was busy and he sent me out to play
with something else. It is hard to understand what goes on inside a father.
Jessica thinks that being a tomato is no big deal. If she were a tomato she
would not worry. She would hang from a tree, or sit in a stack quite cool, on the stand
of a street market. She also said that she think herself the best thing in a pizza. Jessica
sits in front of me at the class room. I stay looking at her hair. Feeling her perfume. I
am going to marry her when I grow up. I am going to be a billionaire, buy a house in
Disneyland and stay there, kissing Jessica all day long.

I told Jason that I would wish to anything but a tomato. He told me to stop
being silly. Would I rather be toilet paper, he asked. Jason is the smartest guy in class.
Being a tomato can sometimes be a lot better!