Bernstein is hawking peaches out of the back of an old Datsun when he notices the two men arguing. They are soldiers, part of the army that is moving through town. Battered and vanquished, most of the soldiers are too tired to bully Bernstein out of his fruit, instead offering what little they have for his produce. The two arguing, though, yell at each other in an escalating series of refrains, angry in defeat, powerless to change the course of things even after having offered up their blood.
Bernstein senses this will end in violence, a tiny echo of the battle that brought them here, men unable or unwilling to settle their dispute in compromise. If it would stop them he’d offer them his fruit, offer to feed them, try to get them to see past their own impotence. He’s seen this too many times before, though, and knows it will end with one man dead and the other walking away.
Bernstein steps away. He would rather hide in a peach tree till his own useless desires pass than be caught in the echoes of this violence that seems to reverberate throughout history.
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Image courtesy of IOL.