Aversion by Sheldon Lee Compton
Eggs. Egg. Anything white. Anything oval. Come to think of it, anything yellow or white and oval. Or scrambled all over, you know, sort of thrown around and fluffy? And yellow and white, the two of them together. With white specks all through the yellow, smelling of butter. In fact, butter itself. Because butter can send me straight toward the egg cliff and then all the rest of it comes into play, sort of swells up inside me, and to bathroom I go, knees first. Styrofoam, too. Like the cartons. Cartons and cartons of eggs. Too much Styrofoam in one place can eventually do it—opening a box from the mail, for example, with all those little egg-shaped bits of Styrofoam, ohmygod. Chickens can put me there more than you’d think and the shape of a fingernail, if I’m in that certain frame of mind, the moon on nights with fog blurring the edges of everything, and even before life, the womb an imperfect circle, the womb brought to life in part by the terrible egg. But it all leads back to eggs. So many things do now. Amy loved loved my scrambled eggs. I made them for her near the end. I handed her a full plate while she sat on the toilet. She liked that I did that sometimes, the way I seemed impatient to have her taste my eggs. She sat on the toilet, the opening hugging at her white thighs, her legs delicately spread apart a little more than usual, her jogging pants tossed around her ankles, holding the plate balanced in the palm of her hand. She stared at me for a long, long time. How can I explain it? I can’t, really. There’s only the egg. Anything white. Anything oval or yellow and white or scrambled around or butter or the smell of butter or bathrooms, with those toilets endlessly capped with lids of white, hollow ovals. The perfect smooth white of thighs at complete rest or goddess blue eyes watching me break apart one crack after another and another and another. And it continues. One crack and then another and another and another, all born from the last with the next creating one more until, thankgod, there’s nothing left to break and nothing left altogether.
Sheldon Lee Compton is a short story writer, poet, and novelist from Kentucky. He is the author of The Same Terrible Storm (Foxhead Books, 2012), Where Alligators Sleep (Foxhead Books, 2014) and Brown Bottle (Bottom Dog Press, 2016). Recent fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming at Wigleaf, Vestal Review, Gravel, Free State Review, and elsewhere. Since 2009 he has maintained the blog Bent Country (bentcountry.blogspot.com) and is a member of the Zoetrope writing group The Flash Factory.