“I love fresh mangoes!”
“I know, and I never get to have them fresh.”
“I like them best in a smoothie, myself.”
We were knelt on the floor at the top of the stairs of the nicest hostel any of us had ever been in, huddled around the large mango Kristine had brought back from the Florentine market. We were anxious to each take a piece.
“Okay, who has a knife?”
“Why would any of us carry knives around with us?”
“Come on, someone has to have a pocket knife.”
“Maybe Josh has one.”
A few of us fetched Josh, with his tousled red curls, a big brother of sorts to 17 girls who hardly knew one another. He had no pocket knife, but he did offer a suggestion: dental floss.
“Dental floss. To cut through a mango.”
“Well, obviously the pit will be a problem.”
“Who has dental floss?”
“You all better have dental floss.”
“Don’t act like everyone flosses.”
“All that really matters is that everyone is brushing their teeth.”
“Okay, does anyone have some dental floss?!”
Someone, I don’t remember who, appeared with dental floss. The mango was pinned down by Kristine while Josh began sawing the thick flesh with flimsy, wax dental floss. We stared and cracked sarcasm and stared some more. Someone went to find playing cards. We were still on the floor at the top of the stairs.
“This isn’t working.”
“Patience? Who has time to be patient?”
It took about 20 minutes. Or hours, I’m not sure. By the time the mango had been flossed in half and pieces carved out of it, we were laughing and playing card games, on the floor at the top of the stairs of a hostel in Florence.