When you later type lemony.space in the browser, you will get to a website that I have inhabited for over six years. I first built it to learn the specifics about the web, but it has since morphed into a living archive of my life.
I used to be obsessed with lemons. My favorite dessert was a tart for which you'd use one, and only one, whole lemon for the filling. One year I spent Christmas with my friend's family in Portland, Oregon, a place with moss-covered trees and tree-lined streets. My friend's mom kept a lemon tree in the living room. She would have liked to plant it in the garden, next to the fig and chicken coup, but the lemon tree — bright and soft and strong under the Sicilian sun, in a different life — curled up in the Northwestern mist. Its pot became the favorite spot for the house cat, who might have, at some point, misused it as a bathroom. It was a scrawny little tree with two branches and countable leaves, but it bore a fruit.
My friend decided to make the tart in honor of the lemon's existence.
When the friend visited me in Washington, DC, we made limoncello together. We filled a third of a jar with Everclear, suspended six lemons in a cheese cloth and sealed the jar. The theory was that the vapor, arising from the spirit of 95% proof , would "squeeze" the good stuff out of the lemons and infuse the alcohol.
A month later, the clear liquid acquired colors. I was drunk and, coincidentally, proved the theory.
I also bought a novel named Lemon, in which the protagonist fell in love with a lemon. Around the same time I fell for, less imaginatively, a guy. Nevertheless, I told him about the book. I wish I could say he sent me a basket of lemons or, perhaps, brought me a lemonade, but instead he felled the bough of my heart.
I listened to Woozy with Cider over and over because somewhere in the lyrics it was spoken: lemons.
The old About page of the website quoted Neruda:
which yellow bird fills its nest with lemons?
When I learned Spanish years later, I went back to the same poem and read to myself:
el pájaro amarillo...el nido de limones...
Foliage, Upstate. 2015
I don't feel the same about lemons now, but I keep the namesake.
It reminds me of the stories that I forget from time to time.