Phantom of the Neighborhood
Ian Drew Forsyth
I ate my heart last night, in a trance. The dinner-goers next to me were scarce to notice, and my waiter offered me no napkin. The tubes were the most mysterious, like sucking the goop from a geoduck I inhaled the inner chambers' slop, and found it pleasantly mushy: a blend between haggis and crème brûlée. With blood dribbling down to my chin, not to mention: a gaping pit in my chest, I found it puzzling that no one paid any attention to my overt masochism—although I like to think it was my way of making a joke. A parody of their latent sadism, these quiet butchers in neckties and murderesses with jeweled rings—I was not the queer one, nor the psychopath!
No, I only ate my heart to get a rise out of them.
Somehow I continued to exist, although at times the world began to spin so much I felt like I was walking upside-down. The wound grew an abalone palette of scabs and varicose veins.
A month later I'd wandered back to that same drab restaurant—set in a neighborhood that'd long since lost its flavor, and that I only visited in nostalgia for decades before the gloss. And do you know what I saw as I sat down to eat a so-so flank steak?
There was a middle-aged man, a very milquetoast sort—and I swear to you—he was devouring his heart on a shiny piece of china! And the most infuriating thing to me...was that the waitress came with a napkin, and wiped the blood from his chin.