Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The onions

(note: I’m planning on using this section somewhere near the climax of an unwritten story, for which I had already made known that the narrator is allergic to onions)

His eye passed over me like the wind on a cold night in May. Chilling, where before I had taken this young man as happily aloof, someone who stared at computers breakfast to dinner and never took action against a beetle his whole life. Then I notice the tingling in my neck. He had opened the window in my kitchen, the one where I kept two pots of herbs on a windowsill. A car drove by, the wind rustled the branches like someone raking leaves, and then a cop car rang its siren toward the subway station from where I just came. A match was struck. No, he was turning on the stove. Then he picked up a crusted old pan. He retrieved from his bag a small sandwich bag filled with white. They were onions. I knew that instantly. He opened the seal, then upended it over the cutting board.
The stench hardly surprised me. My sinuses ignited. Pervading the room as if deliberately targeting my throat, my eyes teared and I cried a sharp hiccup. There wasn’t nothing left to say but a crude “cuntissue,” a curse word I invented several years beforehand. My murderer stroked a pre-cut flake of onion and ran his index finger over my lips. The match may as well be lighting me on fire. My throat clenched and blocked all food and sound. I’d become his silent victim, no more speech than the woodpecker fluttering on the tree, or the moth stuttering through the window and into the half lit kitchen.
I was once stung by a bee at recess when I was seven.

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