Only because Alice stopped eating, I ate everything. I said, “That’s fucking stupid,” and she just sat in the middle of our checkerboard kitchen floor in her Ellie the Elephant undies, crying. Everything in the fridge had to go, even condiments and day-old eggs. When I was done with the food in the fridge the fridge went too. Alice only cried louder but it got harder to hear. Eating a fridge is loud.
Eating in general tends to crowd inner parts of your ears, enough to hear those little wild pangs in your head, and not Alice. When I was done with the fridge, the kitchen table went next. I ate Alice’s mother’s good china and our excellent wok and knife collection, which we used to cook our naps and apple onion soup. We used to have a weird knack for putting a moth in the center of a pie, using implosions in our cookies, all before Alice just up and stopped eating. I ate: the washcloths, the seats, the cabinets. My mouth was beginning to get bigger and bigger to fit everything. I placed the oven deep in my belly. I ate the radiator, the chandelier and a carrot peeler, and pretty soon, my mouth was that fat wound that seems to make a canyon, some loud white space chalkboard noise fluffing the air in little girl tutu shouts like a fish claw clutching a desert air in a freakish exhale.
I ate our cat, Muffins, and I took a bite out of the walls, and then the checkerboard floor was gone. And there was Alice still crying in the middle of nothingness, drenched. I was thinking if she would at least eat that, her teensy little schoolgirl of a kind tear-drops, please, but no, it wasn’t happening like I thought; it was just me and my mouth.
Everything felt like boiling. I looked at Alice. I was looking for the quiet moments in her party-girl self. She had two big Saturns for eyeballs and her wife beater and undies were so dirty now and I was still chewing on the linoleum. She was saying something, or yelling something, or whispering something or blinking with her eyes, two of those but not all, until I finally put my fist in my mouth to begin to chew without stopping once for a breath and finally there was just Alice in hushedness, in white space, in some calming mute, and me, licking the last tips of my sore fingers, stuffed inside a vulgar space of all that we’d held.
Rebecca Diablo is an artist living in San Francisco, CA.