All About Eve
“I found them outside, growing on one of the things in the garden.”
“Yes, but what are they?”
“I said, I think they’re food.”
“Why on earth did you bring them into the house?”
I look from him, to the things on the table, back to him. He has his arms folded in that way that says he thinks this is another of my ‘ideas’, but he’s not going to say anything.
They were coming off the green bits between the cracks in the paving. We hadn’t been sure what they were. The Land Lord said they probably weren’t dangerous, and it would be too expensive to fix, so we left them. Then last month, there were little colourful bits all over them- like you see in the pictures of how things used to be.
Of course, my man got scared when that happened, he wouldn’t go out into the back yard, not for anything. But I was fascinated. The colours disappeared, and then they were replaced by these. Picking them and taking them inside seemed like the thing to do.
“I looked in the old books,” I explain, “it said people used to eat these. These ones here,” I hold up the red balls, “are called to…too-matt-oos. I think. Well, look, it says here.” I bring up the Vidscreen, show him the pictures from the Wiki. He takes one in his hand and sniffs it, experimentally.
“You’re sure about this?”
“Yes. Come on, let’s try. I mean, they made the first Nutripills out of stuff like this. What harm can it do?”
I take two, and offer him one. We look into each others’ eyes, daring each other on. He bites into his as I do into mine.
Flavour floods my mouth. It is strange, compelling, like nothing I have ever tasted before, because everything we are supposed to eat tastes somehow imaginary compared to this. The texture is strange, firm and then yielding. I see from his face that the revelation is the same for him.
Fifteen minutes later, all the red balls are gone. We look around the kitchen at the different Nutrition packets, seeing them for what they are. We look out into the garden, at the green things pushing up out of the grey. My man goes to the Wiki, and looks up Gardening. It seems unnecessary for us to mention that we shouldn’t tell the Land Lord about this if we want to keep this little piece of paradise.