Johnny America


Lig­a­ment Sandwich


“Don’t let your rice and toma­toes get cold, Roger. I didn’t stand up here mak­ing it for nothing.”

Roger stopped star­ing in­to deep space and looked down at his rice and toma­toes. He touched them with his fin­ger; they were get­ting cold. They’re get­ting cold, Roger thought, be­cause any­thing that is heat­ed if left alone long enough will even­tu­al­ly get cold. I got to eat this mess now ’cause I sure ain’t go­ing to eat cold rice and toma­toes. That would be like eat­ing mag­gots and glob­ules of co­ag­u­lat­ed blood. Roger winced at this, his ex­pres­sion un­seen by the over­seer who told him to not let his rice and toma­toes get cold.

Tak­ing his fork he dug in and scooped up a heap and dumped it in­to his open mouth. He knew that his mouth opened in­stinc­tive­ly to al­low the heap of rice and toma­toes to en­ter. He didn’t even have to think about open­ing his mouth. It opened on its own ini­tia­tive, Pavlov­ian in its ex­treme essence.

The rice and toma­toes tast­ed fine, though the heat in­dex had dropped con­sid­er­ably. They were no longer hot but lost in the hazy mid­point of warm and tepid.

Roger fin­ished the rest of the rice and toma­toes. He took his soiled plate to the sink and ran wa­ter over it. “I’m go­ing out­side,” Roger stat­ed. The over­seer nod­ded, amused by some­thing on the ceiling.

Once he was out­side, he felt the world open up — much like his mouth when pre­sent­ed with the heap of rice and tomatoes.

“Here,” he said, with head and hands lift­ed to the sky. “Eat me.”

And it did.

Filed under Fiction on August 26th, 2005

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