That Time

Did I ever tell you about the time I ate a toaster? I think it was 2003, maybe 2004. It was autumn, unless it was spring; regardless, it was the time of year when it rains more often than it doesn't.

I woke up uncharacteristically early that day, before the sun had snuck past my curtains. My stomach hurt, but that's not true enough - I was so hungry, the mere thought of not eating, not gorging myself, hurt. I would have killed and eaten any living thing that crossed my path in those first few moments of consciousness.

Instead, I stared at my hands for awhile. Do you ever look at your hands? I bet you don't.

Seen through a certain frame of mind, each hand is an awkwardly oversized pinkish spider, one that's lost a few limbs in a fight. The nails at the end all look like little faces, faces hiding behind the shiny surface of the nail. These finger face people are prematurely old, regular wrinkles running their length. The knuckles are white-pink clusters of dubious purpose - mating? digestion?

Despite their advanced age, fingers are sinuous. They move with a liquid grace, like water being poured by an invisible hand into a thirsty mouth.

After ten or so minutes of this, I couldn't remember if I was the one moving my fingers. Is it always like this? I remembered my hunger, and never once thought of eating my fingers. That would be ridiculous. If I ate my fingers, how would I get more food? Man is a tool using animal, after all.

I bounded up the stairs to the kitchen that rested above my sleeping head. The whale song of chairs scraping the kitchen floor had stopped before my finger gazing. I was alone. Once in the kitchen, my shoulders slumped and my head hung low. My hunger was instantly converted into lassitude, and the tile floor I was forced to stare at held no easy answer.

Stooped like an old man tying his shoe laces, I followed the patterns on the floor. Line into line, perpendicular parallel, start again catch the same. I lost track of time again. Somewhere in the eastern reaches of the kitchen I found a drooping black worm, like the bottom of a lowercase G. It brutally stabbed into the red wall of the kitchen, white plastic blood congealed around the wound.

As I followed the black worm up, I noticed it terminated (or began?) at the toaster. It was part of the toaster, some sort of proboscis. The hunger emerged full force from the middle of me, and that's when I knew I had to have it.

I used my hand spiders to grab the proboscis and rip it from the wall. I saw bright metal teeth gleam, and I knew I had chosen well. Next, I grabbed the body of the thing itself and slammed it to the ground. The predator had become the prey, and I'm sure the wall - immense but defenseless - was grateful.

There was a clank and a groan, but the toaster didn't fight back. I had stunned it with my sudden action. Flakes of previous meals fell from its lower half, the gritty detritus of the consumed. I savagely brought the toaster to the floor again and again and again. When I finally cracked its housing, I slurped up the metallic bits inside.

It wasn't long before only the toaster's protective outer shell and the end of its fanged proboscis remained. I left them there as an offering.

Satiated, sated, and stuffed, I made my way back down to my bed. My stomach hurt again, but this was good. It was good.

And that was the time I ate a toaster.