A man at an Iowa farmer’s market I did not know told me that to check if a watermelon is ripe, just knock and listen. And if it sounds hollow, you half-expect it to say “come in” when your ear is pressed against it. But it’s a watermelon, and watermelons can’t talk, we think. It’s probably ready, and if it’s ready, you might believe that nature makes music. Just pick out the seeds and eat what tastes good, what tastes right. I think probablys are seeds that get stuck down your throat. Take a swig of water and wash it down. A watermelon might grow in your tummy, mom said. That’s not true, I think. Overripe is a baritone and underripe is more of a tenor and if you have ever eaten a watermelon that tasted like a drumbeat and sounded like the Earth, you might believe that God is real.
The Earth is round, I think. A man I did not know told us that the Earth was round, and somebody’s God took 300 years to admit it. According to science (and the expense of many lives), we know Americans have about 78.7 years. Globally, 72.6. Some don’t get so lucky (my grandma, 48.6 out of 100,000 roofers, guinea pigs of American bombs). Some don’t get to be lucky at all. Back to the Future took 36 years to be wrong about hoverboards and self-drying jackets. Racism has and can outlive Sierra Leoneans. I know that we do not have 300 years to figure out our I thinks.
I do not know when our I thinks turn into I knows. I know that sadness heals like bruises, and I know that my mother and I have the same crooked tooth when we stand mirrored. I know that angels exist and visit me through sunny days, and I know that plants have feelings. I know that I have been alive 670,464,000 and a few more seconds and I have an identity worth six syllables. And I know I am a watermelon-knocker and I know there are deal-breakers. I know the Earth is dying and I know that we are dying and I know that I love him and when he tells me he loves me, I think.
René Descartes, a man I did not know, told the world “dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum.” I doubt and I know I am. And I know he is. These are the things I know. But us, I don’t know. I probably never will. He asks me how I want my grilled cheese for the third time that week. I always choke down two pieces of bread and always one piece of cheese.
My throat is dry.
Tyana Brock is a Mass Communications major and Creative Writing minor in her senior year. She is grateful to have been selected for RBR and have her work recognized by fellow peers. She wants to thank her professors for all their continuous support in her pursuit of writing and journalism. Her dream is to be a New York Times Bestseller.