We Don’t Have Snow Yet

It’s the end of the world. Tonight I slipped through chain-link fence and slaughtered a thick stalk of brussel sprouts. The stalk had to be held down at the neck while I sawed through it, an act that–common, I’m sure to all killers via similar means–I found took much longer than I had planned. The midnight train roared by as I stood behind the greenhouse, plucking the limp green leaves from the stalk quickly, and I thought what a perfect place, deafened by the engine, shrouded from the path by the greenhouse, to meet my own end–luckily, this vulnerability wasn’t recognised by anyone else. The train conductor, at least, had honked twice when he saw me, bent over in the garden, a warning to scurry under cover, like a mouse, shut myself up in some hovel and wait for the beast to pass. My heart beat heavily, for this reason, and because I did not obey, I felt as vulnerable as if I was exposed to some hawk in a field.

***

Yesterday, with a healing wound on my fingertip, I gutted ten fish, which I then split and stuffed. The whole ordeal was agonising, not only because I had never gutted a fish before, but also because they were half frozen, because I worried about the aforementioned “wound”, and because the counter wasn’t clear and I felt like I was contaminating everything. In the end, I felt wasted, not because I committed ten successive murders–though there was that–but because of the ceremony of their preparation, because I was forced to throw out two due to uncertainty, and because unlike other elaborate meals I have prepared, I no longer wanted to eat them.

(We did eat them, though.)

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