I wish I was a girl selling plums; one from the olden days who walked around the noisy, dirty, cobblestoned streets of London, where dozens of people shoved past you without giving you a second look. But in actual fact, I’m almost there. That’s what it’s like to walk through the high school grounds, only I’m not carrying a basket full of unripe plums or wearing a flowing, corseted dress.
In my imagination, I am a girl selling plums with thin, fragile skin, so much like my own bruised legs and arms caused from being constantly pushed around. Only one cut and the plum is worthless, the precious juice drips out, leaving the plum dry and empty.
I walk through the cold streets of London with my basket—too heavy for my hands—in the crook of my arm and my dress swirling around my feet as my shoes tap against the cobblestones. I call out to people, and ask if any of them would like to buy a plum. No one does. I continue to walk through the bustling groups of people. I look into the shops and listen to the voices, barely audible over the other shouting strangers. The shops are lit brightly from inside and all look so clean and serene. The people, so beautiful, laugh together. I could never sit with them, they would never accept me. The light shines against the darkness and I can’t ever seem to look away. Some people bump into me, forcing me to tear my eyes from the light, so I continue forward through the seemingly everlasting horde of people. Some of the people are loners like me; some are popular with expressions of revulsion on their face, for having to share space with losers like us.
I am the girl selling plums. No one seems to notice me as I drift by. No one wants my plums. No one wants the only thing I have to offer, and the more people I offer my plums to, the more people that can reject them, that can reject me. I hate coming here, but I know I will always have to return to this busy street, with my dress swirling around me and my basket of plums hanging from my arm.
Again I walk, I call out to people, and I offer them my plums. I beg, I plead, but once again no one wants them. It seems everyone else has some other kind of fruit and that I’m the only one who likes plums. I am the plum girl.
Words by Amber Dance