Fiction: Avocado Toast Cabaret
For lunch, the man had prepared himself a slice of avocado toast.
“How very modern of you,” observed his wife, arching her eyebrows.
“What did you want me to have?” asked the man, resenting the implication. “Pot roast? Stewed rabbit? Mutton? It’s a healthy lunch, and if they happen to eat it in Hollywood so be it. I’m not going to deny myself just because I’m afraid someone will accuse me of being a what do you call it?”
“A poser,” said his wife.
The man proceeded to sprinkle sunflower seeds atop his avocado toast.
“Sunflower seeds,” observed his wife.
“What?” said the man. “They’re a superfood. Okay, fine. I don’t know if they’re technically a superfood, but they’re packed with fiber and other nutrients, which is pretty super in my opinion.”
Next, he shook some hot pepper flakes atop the sunflower seeds.
“Hot pepper flakes,” observed his wife.
“I like a little spice,” the man said. “You could say that in my case, spice is the spice of life.”
“Since when?” asked his wife.
“Since recently,” said the man. “I’m in a state of constant evolution, and it’s good thing, because if you’re not evolving, then what’s the point?”
“What’s the point of what?”
“Of just – of anything. You name it, there’s no point to it if you’re not evolving.”
It occurred to the man that a cool beverage would both complement and counteract the spicy flavor of the pepper flakes. With this in mind, he removed a glass from the cupboard, intending to fill it with a refreshing combination of sparkling water and low-calorie lemonade sweetened with Stevia, a natural alternative to sugar; a moment later, a second glass, which must have been somehow held in place by the first, tumbled out and shattered against the countertop, spraying shards of itself this way and that.
“Ay, caramba!” the man said. “Chimichanga! Carlos Berlanga!”
“Oh, no one,” the man explained. “Just an important Spanish cultural figure from the 1980s.”
“Ah,” said his wife. “The famous Movida Madrileña. A true cultural florescence.”
The man swept the glass up off the floor and wiped down the counter. Then he carried his piece of avocado toast to the table – it was on a plate, I should mention – and sat down in front of it, licking his chops like a dog at the bone.
“Wait a second,” said his wife. “Don’t tell me you’re going to eat that.”
“Of course I am,” said the man. “It’s my lunch, remember? That thing you eat in the middle of the day, somewhere in between breakfast and dinner.”
“What about the glass?” asked his wife.
“What about it?”
“Don’t you think some of it ended up on your toast?”
The man cocked his head. “I don’t see any.”
“That’s probably because it’s mixed in with the avocado and all that other pretentious crap you put on there.”
“Well even if that’s true,” said the man, “I’m extremely disinclined to throw away a piece of avocado toast. Have you seen the price of avocados recently? Not to mention the price of bread, which is your basic substrate of toast, if that’s the right word. And sunflower seeds and hot pepper flakes are no bargain, either. Between supply chain bottlenecks and the price of diesel gasoline, commodity prices are through the roof all around, which you would know if you listened to Marketplace on National Public Radio every afternoon the way I occasionally do. Most importantly, what’s it to me if I eat a little glass? Back in the days of traveling carnivals, there was always someone in the sideshow whose job was to eat light bulbs, and the last I checked those people weren’t going around choking to death on their own blood like Atilla the Hun.”
“What the hell do you know about traveling carnival sideshows?” asked the man’s wife, crossing her right leg over her middle leg and her left leg over her right.
“A hell of a lot more than you do,” the man said, grasping his toast between the hooked fingers of one of his claw-shaped hands.
“I’m not so sure about that,” said his wife, stroking her long, corn-silk beard.
“Let’s ask him what he thinks,” the man said, in reference to his conjoined twin.
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