Sunday, March 8, 2009

Being a Sister and Having an Avocation

A woman sits at a table peeling a hard-boiled egg. Once peeled, she stuffs the thing into her mouth. From the table she grabs a squirt-bottle of mayonnaise. She raises this to her mouth and shoots a thick, white stream of the stuff into her mouth. This, coupled with her saliva, works to break down the egg. Then she smashes the egg against her teeth with her tongue, though she never allows herself to chew. Finally she swallows and, for the most part, it all goes down. What’s left she picks out with her tongue and sucks noisily down.

She picks up another egg from her plate and turns it over in her hand. Then she raises it up and tosses it across the room. It explodes against a portrait hanging on the wall, a portrait of her brother. Yolk runs down the portrait in thick yellow rivulets. This egg, apparently, had not been hard-boiled. She chuckles, then takes up another egg. She begins peeling it, and the entire process begins again. This is the sister’s most cherished avocation.

1 comment:

Guinn said...

I like the rhythm of this piece. I had a difficult day yesterday and I kept coming back to read this short story, like how sometimes you go back and reread salinger books when visiting your parents' house.