by on November 4th, 2010
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I’m a knife, a sharp small smart knife, and I’ve got a story to tell. I usually lie in a drawer next to all the large heavy knives but my master prefers me for special jobs. My first and most pleasurable job was slicing a tomato, a ripe soft tomato, thin skin and deep red. The master’s hand pushed gently, piercing the skin, making thin slices for a sandwich, with mayonnaise on a fall day. This is my usual job, my favorite job.

One day all the big knives were dirty from a roast beef dinner the night before. The master took me to the cutting board. Skillfully we sliced cold beef for a sandwich. He pressed hard, plunged, pressing me firmly to the board, a thin clean slice. No cries from the beef.

Another day, very early in the morning the master grabbed me and dropped me into a box full of fishing gear. I spent all day in that box. I came out at lunch to slice some cheese, not my favorite. Then late in the afternoon the master brought me out and to the side of a river. Three large trout lay nearby. Firmly, in his left hand he held the fish belly up. Then in his right fingers he took me, smoothly inserted my razor sharp tip into the soft golden belly, he pulled a straight line up all the way to the gills of the fish. The entrails spilled out into the water, three times. He then rinsed, bathed and purified me in the river from all evidence of blood. I went clean back into the box and back home into my drawer. I must be my master’s favorite knife.

Many years went by, my handle chipped, my face sharpened many times, always ready for a tomato sandwich. But one evening, without warning I was removed from the drawer, wrapped in a small cloth and placed into the master’s pocket. It was strange but I complied, eager to please. We went for a ride, then stopped and waited, sat in the car for a long time. I heard another car arrive. We got out, we were moving quickly now. The master grabbed me, tighter than ever before. Then something I had only experienced once before, and that time was just an accident, human skin, human blood, soft but not delicious. Now I lay at the bottom of a lake, discarded, not cleansed.

Published in Salt Lake Community College student literary magazine, Folio;

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