I did the obligatory rounds—Bon Di Gro, Warehouse Bonaire, Van den Tweil, the Bonaire Food Group—all to no avail. I even went to Zhung Kong and Lucky Supermarket, Chinese outposts that often carry fresh produce. No luck. I was in search of limes. In the last two days, my poolside sundowner was missing the citrus. Sure, I had the requisite Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, sparkling water and ice. But there was no lime, no heart, no soul, no zing to my fling.
The fact was I could not find a lime anywhere on the island. Even last night at the Breeze n’ Bites Restaurant bar, the waitress just shook her head when a customer asked for a slice of green to go with his Corona. “The problems are in Venezuela,” said the woman. “They aren’t shipping fruit anymore-no bananas, no mangos, and of course, no limes. Things are really bad.”
Bad? You’re damn right, bad! What will happen to mojito night at Eddie’s? How about the rim-side trim for margaritas at La Cantina? Anyone dreaming of making a key lime pie? Forget about it. Thoughts of scurvy darkened my thoughts. This was an island crisis. There was trouble in paradise.
Back home on the hill, I sat defeated. I had exhausted all the possibilities of finding a lime. But wait! I had not check my lime tree in a month. I sprang out of the hammock and ran below to the banana grove. Hanging low on a bottom branch, there it was—a dark green whopper, the largest fruit that my little tree has yet produced. I plucked off the cue ball-sized sphere and immediately the air filled with a citrus scent, an amorous aroma, a tropical treat.
I could not believe my good fortune. I quickly looked around to ensure that no one had seen my discovery. All clear. I scampered up the stairs to find the Mount Gay. I was one lucky guy, proud owner of the last lime on the island. Squeeze time.