Down on the Lower East Side, the invasion slipped in quietly.
For ages (was it months? years?) there wasn't a peach to be found. Then suddenly, in the space of a few spectacular days, a fleet of luscious peaches rolled in on fuzzy skins. We saw them first in the Tompkin's Square Greenmarket.
White Peach Donuts (and Sweet Basil Donuts) overtook the ever-seasonal sandwich board outside The Donut Plant. Peach Cobbler Muffins lined up in the Essex Street Market. A Market Beet & Peach Salad materialized on the menu at Little Giant. Towering crates of peaches stood stacked inside the door of Il Laboratorio del Gelato.
Once we realized we were surrounded by peaches on all sides, it was too late. We were powerless against them. How easily they entered our homes, our businesses, our lives. We were captives. Captivated. Stunned. Transfixed.
As the days progressed, I suppose it was predictable that we became accustomed to their presence. I think we developed a kind of stonefruit Stockholm syndrome, allying with them, inviting them to join us at breakfast, lunch, dinner and teatime.
I can't verify anything, but there may have been a few tantalizing trysts of sweet, sticky juice and tender flesh savored over the sink. Who can tell? It's all a dizzy blur now.
In the last few days, I've heard rumors (just whispers, mind you) of a retreat. It seems like a wild fiction. Having become so pervasive, such fixtures in our lives, is it possible they could vanish entirely? I won't believe it.
The future? Speculative. (It always is.) The one thing I can say with certainty is this: our present moment is peaches.