an apple in the bathroom
a prose poem
There’s an apple. In the bathroom. It’s been there for a while.
Months. Maybe years. It can’t possibly be years. It feels like years. Things don’t change.
It hasn’t gone bad. It’s been cold. And apples have that way of lasting forever. Back in the day they used to put them in barrels.
Because they had a lot of barrels. And nothing better to do.
But the apples lasted.
It’s a little pitted. The apple. In the bathroom. It’s not rotten. But it’s a little pitted. I’ve seen apples. In the supermarket.
That were worse.
I won’t eat it. Not even to make applesauce. Because it’s been in the bathroom. For months. Maybe years.
That makes it dirty. Everyone understands that. It’s meaningless. But everyone understands it. I don’t have to explain.
It isn’t rotten. But I wouldn’t eat it. Even if it hadn’t been in the bathroom. It isn’t rotten. But it’s dead.
That happens to apples. They look fine but you bite into them and they have no flavor. Their sisters had flavor. But not this one. It looks fine but its spirit has fled, and took everything about it that matter. Only the pulp remains.
Sometimes I feel like that. Sometimes.
I think about throwing it out. At times I don’t because I know I would miss it. I don’t care about it but I would miss it because it’s in my life. Like when you break a mug that you never really liked. And you have more than enough mugs. But it’s sad because it was yours. Now it’s gone.
Or maybe I don’t throw it out because I don’t notice it. It isn’t anything. Trash turns to clutter turns to scenery. A stain on your wall that’s been there for nine months isn’t a stain. It’s texture. Why throw away a single leaf that’s fallen off a tree in autumn? There are so many more.
But mostly I can’t be bothered. On those certain days, days when I have no flavor, even throwing out an apple is too much. Picking it up and chucking it to the bin is too much. I could do it. But it won’t matter. Why does it matter?
One day I’ll throw it out. Maybe because it finally decided to rot. But probably because I just want to. Some piece of glass will dislodge from my brain and the clutter will turn to mess. I won’t think the apple is interesting anymore. I won’t think it is beautiful just because it is there. Out of place. A goldfish in a slinky factory.
So I will throw it out. And I’ll feel accomplished because it’s been there for months. Maybe years. I’ll feel cleaner. I’ll feel triumphant.
Then, soon, I’ll feel sad. I won’t regret it. Not really. I don’t need an apple. In the bathroom.
But I’ll feel sad. Because it was there. Because it was mine. And then it was gone.