We're having a rare gorgeous August weekend here in the DC area, so I did what any red-blooded gay man would do when inspired by clear skies, low humidity, and reasonably cool temperatures: I went berrying.
(If this site regularly featured pornographic fiction, I would now be telling you a story that involved much perspiration, a hot cop, a tight t-shirt, and an incredibly long and messy fuck in the back of a pick-up truck. You must resign yourself right now to the fact that this is not such a site and lower your expectations accordingly. If it helps, I feel your pain.)
It is, of course, possible to pick thornless blackberries in a cultivated patch at one of several local orchards. And you can go ahead and do that if you're a -- forgive me -- pussy. Real men pick wild blackberries from patches that are hard to discover, harder to get to, and harder still to survive.
When I was a young'un, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a blackberry patch, but sprawl has made them so rare that their locations are closely guarded secrets. I got the location of my previous patch from my father. I'd been asking him where it was for years, but he'd pretended not to know until one stormy night he took me aside and told me where he picked berries, "in case I don't survive tomorrow's operation." I don't think that hemorrhoid surgery actually has a very high mortality rate, but I sure was glad to find the location.
Sadly, most of that patch was wiped out by some highway construction, and, about five years ago, I was halfheartedly collecting a pint or so of berries from what was left of it when I happened upon the daughter of the owner of a local fruit stand. She said she was picking a few half-pints for the customers and that she was very happy not to have to pick alone in this wild setting on the edge of a supermarket parking lot. But it was pretty obvious that she was just into me, so I maintained a polite distance until she happened to remark that "this patch" certainly wasn't what it used to be. I inferred, or at least hoped, from her remark that there were other patches and that she knew about them, so I tried hard to think back to my breeder days and turned on the charm. When -- after an internal struggle of epic proportions -- she finally parted with the information, I thanked her and said, "Oh, by the way, I'm gay." Then I ran away as quickly as I could. Fortunately, she paused to drop to her knees and scream "Nooooooooooo!" long enough to allow me to reach the car and drive off before she appeared with her machete. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, I reckon, but really it's her own fault. She should have waited to give me the information until after I'd put out. I find the idea of sexing a female somewhat repulsive, but I'd do a lot worse for blackberries.
My current patch is loaded with blackberry bushes, but you have to get there at just the right time: after they're ripe but before the local immigrant families show up en masse to strip them bare. I figure that happened about a week ago: I was clearly picking from the second wave today. But that was okay because the weather was awesome. When I go berrying, I typically wear very heavy jeans, a heavy t-shirt, a big, long-sleeved denim shirt, a ballcap, and gloves with the fingertips missing. This allows me to plow fearlessly (though not without injury) deep into the
Berry picking, especially when the berries are plentiful, is an activity that requires a surface level of attention but leaves the larger mind unoccupied. It encourages a meditative, almost hypnotic, disassociation between levels of consciousness. While your bucket fills up, your mind wanders to places you didn't know it could find. Add in the pleasure of being alone outdoors and off the road, and you have a bit of paradise. If you see God, however, you're probably hallucinating from the dehydration, so don't forget to carry water.