This one’s raspberry and this one is marionberry said the barista to the woman in front of me.
Oh i’m glad you can tell the difference because marionberry would make my throat swell up she said.
My mind went to anaphylactic shock. Then retroperistalsis. Then poking the EpiPen into the meat of the thigh and remaining calm.
Then my mind said “bitch set me up”
Pondering the differences between Marion Barry and marionberry I was smiling in my own world when the barista turned to pour my drip coffee. There’s a punch line in there somewhere. I could tell the difference between a raspberry and a marionberry if they were growing in the alley behind my house. But when they’re slathered on a pastry in a coffee shop I couldn’t care less. I’ll be eating marionberry jam on my pb&j in a couple hours watching the sun come up over the cascades behind Husky Stadium. If it was raspberry jam the sunrise wouldn’t look any different.
As a lowly intern walking the streets of DC in the fall of 1990 I saw Marion Barry t-shirts featuring variations on the bitch-set-me-up theme for sale at random street corner stands allover town. Mayor Barry was in the tail-end of his 3rd term and hadn’t gone to jail yet. Those shirts are still available online in neoretro knockoffs. They don’t make my throat swell up but they still make me chuckle 30 years later.
When the factual narrative gets boring it’s important to explore the landscape of memory which is often prompted by the poetry of petty details.