The tomatoes in our garden are hungry again. Nanna is not enough anymore. She has been feeding them for too long. Soon, she will be dead and then it will be my turn.
This is what I think when I scarf down our tomatoes with every meal: A heavily scented stew; an acrid salad; a bite into the tomato’s red, wine-sour flesh is how magic finds you.
Not all tomatoes are like ours. The others are hollow, full of water and seeds. A waste of space, as Nanna says. But that’s what you get when you have no power running through your family roots—or perhaps you used to have it, but stopped paying the price. Water and seeds. That’s what freedom tastes like.
In one corner of our room, sitting up on her creaky bed, Nanna watches me eat with quiet satisfaction. Her legs are not there anymore. In their place is a bundle of fleshy roots, spiraling inside themselves. Years and years of feeding yourself to the tomatoes changes you like that. That’s my future. It’s what I will look like if I don’t get the hell out of this place.