“Don’t let your rice and tomatoes get cold, Roger. I didn’t stand up here making it for nothing.”
Roger stopped staring into deep space and looked down at his rice and tomatoes. He touched them with his finger; they were getting cold. They’re getting cold, Roger thought, because anything that is heated if left alone long enough will eventually get cold. I got to eat this mess now ’cause I sure ain’t going to eat cold rice and tomatoes. That would be like eating maggots and globules of coagulated blood. Roger winced at this, his expression unseen by the overseer who told him to not let his rice and tomatoes get cold.
Taking his fork he dug in and scooped up a heap and dumped it into his open mouth. He knew that his mouth opened instinctively to allow the heap of rice and tomatoes to enter. He didn’t even have to think about opening his mouth. It opened on its own initiative, Pavlovian in its extreme essence.
The rice and tomatoes tasted fine, though the heat index had dropped considerably. They were no longer hot but lost in the hazy midpoint of warm and tepid.
Roger finished the rest of the rice and tomatoes. He took his soiled plate to the sink and ran water over it. “I’m going outside,” Roger stated. The overseer nodded, amused by something on the ceiling.
Once he was outside, he felt the world open up—much like his mouth when presented with the heap of rice and tomatoes.
“Here,” he said, with head and hands lifted to the sky. “Eat me.”
And it did.
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