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Burnt Toast

Where do I begin? With a memory, some action, meaningless dialogue to fill a page without rhyme or reason? My inner indecisiveness is so tangible you could cut it with a knife and use it to butter your toast.



Have you ever really thought of toast? Of the fact that you’re sticking bread in a hot appliance until it’s crisp, until pieces are flaking off, and before you know it, you’re absorbed in the 7 am Saturday morning soap operas and the toast is burning and smoking but you go on watching your television with all of the attention span your small mind can muster.



Then there’s fire. Your toaster is burning, the smoke alarm is blaring, your five year old daughter with plastic yellow duck clips in her braided hair is trying to figure out what is wrong when a spark hits the gas line to the stove and your entire kitchen is engulfed in flames.



You’re trying to do something, dressed in that pink bathrobe of yours with a green floral coffee cup still clutched in your manicured hands, smoke stinging your blue eyes and invading your nostrils that are so used to expensive perfume and new-car smell.



Then you promptly pass out from smoke inhalation, and you and your child are dead before the paramedics arrive, because you forgot about your toast—



That’s not the story I’m supposed to be telling, not at all. I was going to speak of burning from the inside out, when you swallow poison hoping it’ll kill you and you fail, like you’ve failed at everything else in your life except being born to a family supported by daddy’s money.



The question is, why would you do it in the first place? Because you are miserable and alone, and you want a one way ticket to anywhere but this suffocating, pampered life, this stream of consciousness. I’m sorry to tell you that it’s never that easy.



So put the cyanide down, blow out that flickering, rose scented candle that you were saving for a fourth wedding anniversary that never came, open the window, and let the night air in.



Maybe if you wish hard enough, you’ll grow wings and—Well, if you or I had wings, they’d be broken, like our hearts, which, if you ponder it, you realize they aren’t really broken, considering they haven’t ceased that infuriating beating that seems to have no inkling of your suffering.



Those were your thoughts the night before you left the toast that set fire to the toaster that sparked the gas line and the smoke that killed you, invading your lungs like unwanted, uncontrollable feelings that cause your breath to catch as you sob for a man who is never coming back, won’t walk through the door you both painted red the summer you were married, the same door he walked out when he told you he was leaving for a better woman, a more beautiful, younger, successful woman; somebody you would never, ever live up to.



At least he cried at your funeral.



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