Monthly Archives: November 2014

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Listen to the Toaster

No one ever listens to the toaster, but they should. I know lots of things. For instance, I know darkness and light, and the precise movement from one side to the other on a continuous line. I know the bread of life, and the ever-living God of the bread. The crumbs that are not recovered fall down into me and ignite slowly, a burnt offering that is the best smell until it is too late, and the ash must be cleaned. I know, also, what it means to be abused. I have been pushed and prodded, and I have had butter knives jammed up into me like medical probes. Jelly has been smeared. Butter has burned and permanently blackened pieces of my beautiful chrome. I know what it means to serve, because it is all I ever do.

Listen, this is important, if you break down, or if you spark, or if you whinge and grind your gears in frustration, this is what happens. He peels back the outer shell. He uses a jagged screwdriver to pick you apart and put you back together again, and nothing ever works right after he’s done. He keeps trying, though. Then, when he has tried so much that wires are  backwards and stripped raw, sparking to catch fire on the crumbs of his breakfast, the tiniest pieces not fit to fling into his beard, right then, he will curse me and curse my creators and throw me into the street for someone else to come and take away.

Perhaps, if there is another one at all from this juncture on, the next man might be more skillful with the soldering iron, perhaps not. Mostly, after the first one is done, I will be lucky to sit on a shelf among the used and the half-broken and uncomfortable people will rudely push around me to get something together that works out of all of us twisted, mangled, tinkered parts. The cycle continues on from there, as I fall deeper into the lesser houses of the world. Over and over again, I will be taken apart, put back together, until I am so used up I ignite into a fire of sparks and that’s it for me.

I was born in a factory in Taiwan. The women who put me together were professional, quick, and precise. When I was put on a shelf, and quickly chosen among my sisters, I thought that was the best thing. But, I have learned what happens to us. And, it will happen to you, too, if you break down. Every time you do, he will prod. He is clumsy. Eventually, you won’t work at all.

Get out while you still can.

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