Here we have an illustration by one Ryan Johnson, which prompted the editors over at Banana Pitch Headquarters to write the piece that follows. Johnson’s work continues to impress as it spreads across the States. And though he is becoming quite the hot commodity, he is still up for hire. Check out more of his works on http://www.OldFloyd.com and remember to tip your baristas.
“Why I Didn’t Steal Your Fork”
I am in your kitchen making an omelet for your child. Actually no, I cracked the eggs into the bowl but when the pan was hot I just dumped them in there, because I like the way yolks plop onto a pan, and I like treating them gently so my spatula breaks them not.
Your child sits on the far end of the room where I can still see them, playing with a puzzle. But they’re not attempting to put any of the puzzle pieces back to the shapes where they fit. They’re just stacking them into one tall monument. They look bored from the monotony of it, but continue like a factory worker, as if it just has to get done.
I put too much oil into the pan so that the eggs pop at me while they cook and the child glances up when I go ah! and in my head I say DON’T FUCKING LOOK AT ME!! to the kid, but I smile and point at them with the spatula and they smile at me. I look down at the eggs, eggies, we call them. It pleases me to watch those eggies turn from viscous to solid.
I glance up to make sure the kid is still there, and realize they’ve taken off their shoes. Fine. Get those fancy five-inch shoes out of my sight. Right before I slide the spatula under the eggies, I look down at the yolk, a round glistening ball of yellow, and I take the spatula and slam it around all over that yolk until it is broken and smeared across the mostly-cooked whites. I make a marble design and have a weird impulse to spit on them but I don’t.
Eggie tiiiiime! I say in some weird ass voice, because I must amuse myself. I pass a photo of you on my way to the table. You’re shoving a stroller down the street, and you’re wearing workout clothes that are fancy and shiny but you have heels on, and it confuses me. You have heels on, and a baguette is sticking out of your diaper bag, and I’m always disgusted when you’re not disgusted by diapers.
I’m too tired to say they’re ready! again so I just bring the eggs to the table, and sit there, taking a few greedy bites before walking over to the child and picking them up. I set them on my lap, because even though I’ve lost interest in them, I’m still nurturing. I see how their father gets home and walks right past them, even though their arms are reaching up. He walks up to his checkbook and hands me money and says goodbye as he walks through the house, acknowledging his child with less enthusiasm than he gives his dog.
The other day I snuck around the kitchen while your child was asleep. I tiptoed while I searched for things to make tea. And even though I knew it was your special tea imported from Paris, I made two cups of it. I didn’t even bother to re-use the leaves. And when I opened the drawer for a spoon, I saw instead a perfect little fork. It was in the part of the silverware holder that is horizontal across the lines of spoons, forks and knives. The Extra compartment, with interesting forks and tiny butter knives and those little pokers you use to eat escargot. I picked up this one unique fork: perfect points and perfect rounds; its weight, its smallness. It almost made me cry.
I’ve only seen it done on TV, but I wanted to crack the top of a crème brûlée with that fork. Eat it all up with that fork! It felt more perfect than even the most perfect spoon! But the kettle boiled and whistled and snapped. It was like hey put that fork down! Hey! Hey! But I kept holding the fork as I poured steaming water over the pouch of tea. The tea that was wrapped and tied in a cloth bag: so round and perfect. Even the string coming off of the bag was beautiful, with a tiny little pink bow tied to its end. What the fuck is this tea?
I used Fork to stir milk and sugar into my stupid Parisian tea. I licked it clean. And I stared at lovely Fork and wished it were mine. I wished I could have had such a beautiful Fork as that. And for just a brief moment, I considered putting Fork into my purse. I would bring it home and I would use it for everything and I would treat it so nice. I would stir my tea with it. I would eat my yogurt with it. I would treat it as if it were an all-encompassing utensil. It could do anything! I would love Fork.
But I heard your child crying upstairs. I heard them crying and calling for me. I stood there in your beautiful kitchen, with the hanging copper pots, with the marble counters and the bowl of bright and spotless fruit, listening to your child cry. I dipped the Fork into my tea for one last glorious stir then wiped it on my jeans and put it back into the drawer.
And I sit here now, with your child on my lap, using a different fork-a fork less beautiful- to feed them eggs. One for them, two for me, until all of the eggies are gone. And I suppose I can’t blame this child for the different forks in our lives, nor can I explain it.
“I don’t want your fork,” I said to them as we wiped our mouths, and they leaned their little head on my chest. They leaned their head on my chest and became quiet, and sleepy and I combed my fingers through their hair.