Summer 2006




Visual Arts
Challenge Prompt
Author Bios

The Rack

M. Laurel Walsh

Everyone knows how stuck up the spoons are.  I won’t even discuss how they lay in my middle slot and bitch about how they should be given the largest section, “Who gets used the most?  We are the first thing Hand takes.  Some of those knives haven’t moved since the seventies.  They are like dinner-only implements.  It’s b------.”  The knives are shy and guilt ridden.  Their brothers are butchers.  They’ve heard the screams, the ripping of serrated metal through tendon.  I’ve said to them, “Fellas, the worst thing you’ve done is spread jam on toast, please chill.”  And forks, I liked them initially when I came to Drawer but now, I don’t know.  They have this subversive attitude, always teasing the knives (they can’t handle insinuation, they shiver) but also provoking the spoons.  Last week it was all, “I saw how you handled that stew.  Nice work.”  Everyone knows you can’t compliment a spoon; it goes to their big reflective heads.

Drawer is a crowded space.  When I was at Store, I imagined myself in a different place: more light, more energy, less bickering.  We were all silverware holders, a long row of us, and we were ambitious.  Twice I witnessed a fellow rack (what we call our own, but don’t appreciate from some bamboo paper-plate holder) lose it after Hand took and then replaced it on the shelf.  If you want to witness demoralization, watch a silverware holder get returned from the checkout lane.  Those guys are done for, they cry, “She didn’t realize I was so expensive…” One rack said over and over again.  Kind of pathetic, but everyone wants to be wanted, appreciated regardless of how much they cost, it’s how we operate as objects in the world. 

I shouldn’t complain about life in Drawer.  It is tight, but when we move into the light together, there is a feeling of rightness, of being one with the universe.  You never know when it will be, you can’t predict it, but all of a sudden, Bam!  The planet shifts and you move from darkness to light and that magical tickle as Hand reaches in and chooses.  The first time it happened, I was shocked.  That feeling transformed into an excitement that cannot be described.  Even now, I get fluttery when I hear footsteps.  It is important to be useful.  Not all things have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.  Cooperation is vital, but just try telling a spoon that.

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