By Georgina Vivian
For a few years, we were apart. I searched for your twins and distant relatives in other countries near and far, but none could capture my heart quite like you. You are my one and only. I know you do not believe in monogamy and refuse to give yourself to only one person, but this does not bother me. I let you flirt with other revellers, and the joy on their faces while they spend time with you reminds me why I fell in love all those years ago.
I adore everything about you, and in putting pen to paper, I don’t know where to begin. How about one of the first things that strikes me when we are together? Your scent, tantalising my nostrils with freshly ground coffee, warm, flaky pastries and even the strong-smelling crustaceans that have jumped out of the ocean and onto your pillows of ice. I inhale it all and caress it in my lungs.
As well as your delicious aromas, the sight of you alone makes my heart skip a beat. Your plump, ripe apricots, begging to be fondled. Your bright red strawberries, screaming out from their punnets to be kissed. Your colourful new tattoos adorning your walls, splashing lively designs and patterns in every direction.
I love the way you accept my friends as your own and introduce me to strangers I would not have otherwise met. Mothers push prams down your aisles, businessmen lunch together in prides of suits, elderly shoppers take their time admiring you, carefully selecting treasures to place gently in their trolleys. Vendors shout about their half price leeks and freshly picked pineapples and give out free samples of local mandarins. Each and every day, you somehow manage to bring together all these people from different walks of life and create one happy family, safe and sound within your walls.
I love the way I still get lost in the maze of your mind, even though I have wandered around it so many times before. In your maze with no map but many routes, I stroll past mountains of candy at the old lolly shop and windows upon windows of gooey cheeses, and the multi-coloured stalls of fruit and vegetables makes me feel like I’m racing, albeit leisurely, down Rainbow Road.
We have grown up together, wined and dined together, spent countless lazy Saturday mornings together, and I have loved every single second. I promise to love you until I am old and shrivelled, like a forgotten plum that has rolled off a vendor’s bench and been kicked out of sight.
The piggy that went to market