not a lot of people would suggest peeling an orange. more often than not, they would prefer having or serving oranges sliced, neatly cut into perfect wedges, shaped just right to fit in their mouths and give them a seamless, orange-peel smile. but i like peeling my orange. i always have. it may be messier than, say, peeling a tangerine, but i peel them nonetheless. it's all about connecting with my food, something slicing with a knife can never seem to provide. i like how my fingers would run over an orange's dimpled skin, searching for that perfect spot where i can dig my thumb in. i like how my thumb, big and blunt as it is, would carefully wedge itself under the thick skin, easing away the white, fibrous flesh, unraveling the juicy underlying meat. i like how the meat would feel, how the temperature changes from the warmth of the outside air to the cold interior of the fruit's core. i love how, as my fingers manage its way around undressing the fruit, that it sprays me with a citrus bouquet, its juices running down into my scooped palm.
not a lot of people would prefer peeling an orange. they find it messy and too cumbersome as opposed to, say, slicing it with a knife. but as i eat the succulent portions of the fruit i had so lovingly peeled, and smell the sweet scent it had left on my sticky fingers as they come near my mouth, i think about those people who like having their oranges perfectly sliced and wonder, if only they knew what i know, then maybe their experiences wouldn't just be about a neat, orange-peel smile.