I think I was sixteen. I didn't have a driver's license yet, and would not get one for another two years. My mother regularly packed tangerines with lunch, and after a half-day of fermenting in a locker the sandwich would be soggy and joyless and I'd still have to deal with the messy half-smashed fruit.

He was tall and skinny, funny and brilliant, emo before emo was in, relatively new to the neighborhood and dripping with coolness. Of course everyone wanted to be seen with him. Our parents were friends, but we seemed stuck in the gray zone just after "acquaintances".

We went over to their house once for some reason or other. He walked around the corner eating a tangerine.

I've been mad about tangerines ever since - their flavor, their convenience (once I'd figured out a small cardboard box would prevent squishing), the useless but impressive skill I developed to peel them in one continuous even spiral, the beautiful way they splatter against a frat house. I tell myself it's just coincidence. I'm sure there's a term for this.

this turned out to be somewhat of a GTKY node. many apologies.