Chapter 2: Darkness
I prefer the darkness of the drawer.
Darkness brings with it time to think, to contemplate what it is to “be me”, and more oftentimes that not, I’m alone in my drawer with no companions to distract me. No feta, no gruyère — not even aged slices of provolone. I’ve been plucked so many times without warning from my safe haven. Sometimes with happy memories, and sometimes not, yet always returning lighter than I left.
The happiest time was when Maribel lovingly arranged me with a few others on a blackboard slab. She wrote my name in front of me, as if people couldn’t tell by looking. Some of my companions, notably epoisses and taleggio, definitely needed their names scrawled with white chalk in front of them, lest a guest think that they were some sort of mistake. If it were up to me, I’d have taken them straight from their drawer and discarded them, such was their appearance. No matter. We were all part of a festive atmosphere, and festivity always puts me in a good mood. Music. Dancing. Laughter. I didn’t mind people shaving bits from me to enjoy with the other victuals on the table. Hours later, once people had left, I took stock of the damage. Just about half the brick I used to be, but they sure did have a good time. I looked to my left and right, and those odd-colored fellows had barely lost any of their questionable mass. Being popular does have its drawbacks. Still, I was not gone yet. Back into the drawer to chill. To think. Breathe. Sleep. Await my next entrance.
I’m not sure how much time had passed, but I awoke with a start. Yelling. No, screaming. Doors slamming. The darkness of my drawer was shattered by the sudden opening of my grander home, and I saw Chandler standing there, red-faced, contemplating the contents before him. He reached for me, pulling me out more aggressively than I’m used to being handled. He gesticulated wildly toward the other room, yelling all the while as I was aloft in his hand. Then with a sudden lurch and a sickening smack, I was thrown onto the table — not a cutting board or that blackboard slab — just the table. Maribel strode in from the other room, with Chandler continuing his tirade. As I shrugged off the fog from being mishandled, I tried to focus on what he was saying, but I couldn’t make out the words. They bled into each other like the colors of a brick of epoisses. I began to worry as their heated rhetoric became more so, and though I couldn’t understand the context, I longed for the darkness and solitude of my drawer.
Chandler grabbed a knife from the drawer. Where this instrument would normally be handled with deference before being used to carefully slice part of me, he brandished it in a way I’ve never seen. I was beginning to sweat on the counter. Had I been out for just a minute? Or ten? I didn’t have time to ponder this further as Chandler, having gripped the handle of the knife in his fist, punctuated his last slurry sentence by plunging the knife vertically through my heart. Maribel turned and left the room. A door slammed once more. Chandler muttered to himself and turned off the light, storming briskly to the other side of the house. And I was left there on the counter, mortally wounded, sweating.
Yes, I prefer the darkness of the drawer.
This story is part of a series of stories I’m writing as part of a commitment to sketch each day of 2016. My #365daydraw project yields an image each month, by popular choice, to serve as inspiration for each chapter.
Read more about my #365daydraw challenge