Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Guilty Fruit

The walls are white between the bright crimson spattering of juices. On the floor, pooling over the tired nude linoleum along the floor boards, the juices are partially dried around the edges to create a stain. Here and there the seeds of the guilty fruit lay like red tear drops the size of baby’s teeth. They are on the ground, spread sparingly from one wall to the next as carefully distributed as stars throughout the universe, giving each other a wide berth and only occasionally meeting in groups of three or five.
On the dirty white seat cushions they sparkle like delicate jewels and on the table the white inner membranes of the fruit are strewn over the plaid table cloth among paper towels. The red and pink and speckled outer skins are there too, keeping their disgorged inside company.
On the tile countertops all parts of the fruit that bring death to the world lie scattered and the juice runs in tiny rivers over the grout. A butcher's knife lays gleaming on the cutting board, also sullied with sticky sweet nectar, adding to the unsettling aura of gore that permeates the room.
The red liquid splattered on the walls, pooling on the floor, running in rivers over the countertops, is highlighted by the stark whiteness of the cabinetry, tiles, and unsullied portions of wall. White and red fight for control of the atmosphere and both loose sway at the stainless steel sink crowded with soaking pots and baking sheets. The sink is an explosion of soiled steel nestled in the greater explosion of red and white, like the pink nipple and aureole at the tip of a pale breast, or like the pollen laden burst at the center of a flower.
There is an odor particular to dirty drains and stainless steel sinks which mingles with that of burnt remnants absorbing water on the surfaces of cookie sheets, and of course, the musky smell of that fruit. It is difficult to smell the juices over the unique and strong odor of the membranes and peel, their smell is unlike the smell of other fruits.
On the counter, nearly hidden by ruffles of crumpled paper towels lies a wedge of the fruit possessing all of the parts; tough red skin, white membranes holding and hiding their treasure, and a multiplicity of ruby hued seeds. The pattern calls to mind the nests of wasps while the color, especially the juice, begs to be confused with blood.
A white bodied lamp holding a pear shaped light bulb without the modesty of a lamp shade bathes the scene with a butter cream light. It is aided by a light mounted on the ceiling where multiple bulbs are occluded beneath a dome of etched glass. The pattern of the etchings is a precise array of concentric rings textured with ribs or diamonds in an alternating pattern.
Light glows in the shape of a shamrock on the glossy white paint of the ceiling surrounding the light fixture. No red here, only white and crystal and butter cream playing peacefully together above the mayhem. The jealous red is stealing its way up the walls in the form of those bright splatters, but it never quite reaches into that last bastion of pale solidarity.
The stovetop and oven, like the sink, are engaged in their own game unconcerned with the struggles of white and red. They enjoy the geometric austerity of square doors and round burners dressed in black and white like nuns. Underneath this happy pair a seed or two of the messy fruit lays sequestered, enjoying the solitude and anonymity of darkness where their crimson stain is stripped of significance.