Writer__ Lilian Hess
With eyes still too sensitive to meet the light I feel my way along the round edge of the kitchen counter. A slight queasiness creeps up my throat when the door shuts with a silent slam and the quiet pattering of a thousand little feet is audible. Attached to their owners’ black bodies, whose sleek carapaces glisten in the dark, they hurry across the floor, hiding from the reverberating sound of my steps. In the dim light of the street lamp that shines through the small window, everything appears grey. I can merely make out the yet undefined silhouettes of dirty dishes and half empty bottles. I fumble for a piece of bread and stick it into the toaster. Thwack—the slice of carbs is shoved down into a dark slot. Impatiently, my legs dangle back and forth in pace with the beat of the drops that ceaselessly fall from the tap into the sink. My post-midnight snack starts to smell brown and crunchy.
A little while later it smells black.
With a loud and sudden noise the burnt piece of toast startles out of the grill. I quickly grab it and drop it onto a plate. Painful spots show on my fingers where skin got scorched. With fast and bold strokes I move a knife across the bread’s far too crispy surface, covering my surroundings with black dust. Scrape by scrape the blade scratches off an infinite number of burnt crumbs, intending to reach an agreeable state of crunchiness.
But there seems to be no compromise. Intransigently the originally pale surface shows. It is white.
Thwack—I stick it back into the toaster. I give it another try. I sit down, cross my legs and move my foot to the sound of the dripping tap. Impatiently, I wait.