What’s Your Favourite Berry?

“What’s your favourite berry?” Lionel asked, swirling the beer around in his glass.

“My favourite berry?” Anna said. She looked down at her glass of wine, thinking seriously about the question. She crossed her right leg over the left, picked a piece of lint off the black fabric, then looked back up him. “Why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason, really. I like blueberries myself. What about you?”

“I’m not sure. I mean, blueberries are great, yeah. But strawberries are also delicious. And raspberries, so sweet with that singular kind of tartness. And blackberries. Then there are the larger berries, like peaches and such, but do those really count as berries? I mean, they serve the same function, in a biological reproductive sort of way, but could you call them berries, or just some kind of fruit? Are we imposing a size limitation on berries?”

Lionel looked at her, his jaw slack. He lifted his glass to take a sip, but forgot to close his mouth, spilling beer down the front of his light blue button-up shirt. He put the glass down and tried to brush the liquid off while she continued.

“And in a truly ontological sense, can we even say that berries are? I mean, we accept their existence, hermeneutically, based on the reports of our predecessors, but is a berry even a thing? What if it isn’t? Can we then classify something that doesn’t technically exist? I really don’t know, and I don’t know that we should even try.”

“Wow,” Lionel said. “So, like, raspberries then?”

“I don’t think there is even such a thing,” Anna said.

“Okay then.” Lionel looked down at the end of his beer, sitting quietly for a few minutes. When he looked back, Anna was gone.

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