I’ve been watching too many horror movies, I know. My job is to cut down the tomato vines, one after another, dozens of them. I have to remove the wire hanger they’ve made their skeletons. First I trim around the top, which frees me up to clip the big arms below. It’s like being a barber who starts with a trim and goes on to total dismemberment, like Sweeney Todd sans the artistry. It’s gray and pouring and I slosh around with dripping pants and a quart of rain in each boot, cold, exhausted.
So few tomatoes were salvageable. Often they were like stealth zombie tomatoes, perfect and firm until I spotted a few brown freckles of blight. They would be bitter.
Afterward, traumatized, I came home and therapy-cooked for four hours, invented new tomato sauces. Anything to stop thinking about the great volumes of rotted fruit.
Today will be the third day.