Helmet Full of Honeysuckle

I had an intoxicating scoot ride home from my train station last night (the safe and legal kind), and just had to share. It was a stunner of an evening—puffy clouds, sharp, angled light–and the New England air was sweet with summersmells. Sweet cut grass…sweet lilac…and sweetest of all…


The smell of the stuff was pumping into my open face shield like exhaust from the Wonka factory. I mean, the air was so thick with it you could stick out your tongue and taste it.

I grew up in Maryland and we used to spend hours defoliating honeysuckle bushes and competing with bumblebees for the spoils. You pluck a flower off, and pinch it near the base, just where the green meets the white.

Then you gently tug and tear, which separates the outer petals from the internals (the stamens or pistils or anthers or whatever the hell they’re called). As you keep pulling, sort of “degloving” the flower, those inner tendrils act like a reverse syringe, concentrating and extruding honeysuckle  nectar into the base of the flower, and as you draw this plunger outward, a drop of honeysuckle nectar–the sweetest, summeriest shit on earth–beads up at the flower’s base, ready for your lips.

It’s like liquid summer. 

I pulled over by a honeysuckle-smothered fence to dine. It was delicious. Stopped for some more this morning at the train station. If you haven’t tasted of it yet, your life will not be complete until you do.

Ride safely and sweetly! 

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