We bought our first whole watermelon of the summer this year on the 4th of July. Weighing in at around 20 pounds, it was too big for just the two of us; nevertheless, it was the smallest watermelon left in the store, so we wound up carrying it home for our picnic. My boyfriend chopped up a quarter to add to a salad of cucumbers, feta, and mint, but there was too much to fit in the tupperware, and so our first bites of summer were eaten right off the cutting board, sticky pink juice running down our hands.
That night, tired and sun-drenched from a day at the beach, we skipped dinner and instead sliced off full rounds of watermelon as big as our faces. I couldn’t resist cutting eyes and a mouth into mine, and so we giggled through watermelon masks, just the two of us in the dark kitchen, staying up far too late for anyone’s good.
The watermelon showed up the next day packed into my lunch, to be eaten alongside avocado and queso fresco in my cubicle. A few days later, it had pieces tossed with tomatoes and basil and drizzled with balsamic for a Saturday meal. On Sunday we combined it with arugula and cilantro for a simple dinner — and we still hadn’t hit the halfway mark. There were cold watermelon wedges for breakfast, more packed lunches, and more than a few late-night snacks.
Like a Christmas ham, we kept slicing away at it day after day, and yet of this wonderful watermelon — just sweet enough, just crisp enough, but hardly filling at all — we never grew tired. After nearly 10 days and countless meals, there was just one last bit left, prepared how I like it best of all: simply sliced and sprinkled with salt and lime juice. And then it was suddenly gone, leaving me wanting more.