I wanted to try something a little different for my weekly post. It’s a more narrative style. Let me know how you like it; I certainly enjoyed writing it.
“So this is how it ends…”
I didn’t see a light. I didn’t recall every moment of my life in a split-second. I didn’t have any sort of peaceful revelation about myself. But deep down I knew it was game over. Twenty-years of surviving bullies, gravity, and my siblings only to have my own desires undo me. I would have much rather gone out in a blaze of glory.
I should have known better, but the lure of something greasy overpowered my sense of reason. How long had it been? Months? Days? Years? I could have downed an entire bowl of gravy or a bucket of KFC. I could look past the fins protruding from the morsel’s crusted surface. Golden, crisp, shiny with oil…the sea creature’s siren song captured me at long last.
I sliced into its flesh with my chopsticks, straying far from the fins, savoring the crunch of the crust, the flakiness of the flesh. I didn’t even let it say its last farewells. I ravaged it, the grease of the crust coating my tongue, greeting me like an old friend. Fat. I had fat at long last. My body screamed for more, anything to remind me of home. It demanded steak. It pleaded for potatoes. It wanted to digest any copious amount of meat and shun rice entirely.
I dug in for another bite, but something stopped me. Protruding from the flaky white flesh of the fish was something white and pointed. I set aside my chop sticks and touched it. Sharp, blade-like almost. I tugged at it and from the white flesh of the fish came a bone almost the length of my thumb. Pursing my lips, I set it aside and reached for my chopsticks again. A mistake, right? The nice ladies of the cafeteria had made a simple mistake in forgetting to remove the bone.
I resumed inhaling my food, slurping miso, stabbing oranges, picking at my rice. Upon working up my courage again, I dug into the fish, savoring the greasy goodness once again. I swallowed, but as I looked down for another bite, I felt a lump catch in my throat. When I cast my gaze downward, I saw several more shards protruding from the fish’s flesh.
Angered, I ripped them out only to reveal more and more. Eventually, I pulled the fish’s spine and felt my stomach turn. I still couldn’t swallow. Every time I inhaled through my mouth I could hear wind whistling around the lump.
“You got the fish? How is it?” My friend sat down at the table across from me and picked at her bowl of soba. “I almost got it, but then I saw fins… Decided I had better not.”
“A little tricky to eat.” I gagged. I buried the boneyard underneath my napkin and engorged myself in more rice, begging the bone to shift in my throat, but it held tight. She smiled and we chatted; all the while, I said my prayers and considered scrawling a will on my grease-stained napkin.
Three bowls of rice, two sodas, and an onigiri later though, I managed to dislodge the vile thing. Never again. Never again.