Tag Archives: metaphor

The Villa

Someone was always ringing the doorbell these days. Usually on Tuesdays Carl could barely go fifteen minutes without the resonant tones of the bell going off, and he would hasten to the door to let another guest in. Mondays were often busy, too. And sometimes the place could get crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, especially in the springtime, when the weather improved and the leaves started budding vibrant green again.

Carl had known by now to have pastries prepared all day for the influx of visitors he expected on any given day. They were always hungry and usually took a cookie or two with a guilty look on their faces, muttering that someone else would probably need the cookies more than they would. But Carl always shrugged and told them it was fine. They nibbled at their snacks nervously, eyeing the other guests with suspicion and shame.

On this particular Tuesday Carl was especially tired. There was a strange lull in visitors that afternoon, and more than an hour passed without the doorbell ringing once. Carl lounged on the couch in the living room, the front door of the villa 15 feet diagonal from where he sat now. In the break in guests arriving, Carl made the mistake of blinking his eyes for longer than three seconds, and before he knew it he awoke again to the suddenly harsh tones of the doorbell. He swung his feet to the floor with a thump and stood with a creak. The doorbell rang again, twice in a row; Carl sensed the urgency of the tones beyond the door.

“Just a minute!” Carl shouted hoarsely, then cleared his throat. “Hold on! Don’t leave!” With soft stockinged feet he paced quickly to the entryway and swung the door open, fearing that his visitor was too anxious and had already left. When his eyes focused Carl looked straight into the eyes of a sweaty middle-aged man with a worn hat ring around his forehead; the hat itself he wrung nervously through his fingers, bending the brim back and forth. His eyes changed to an expression of relief when he saw Carl open the door.

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Upside down the lemon sits on the counter,
its pointed tip perfectly perpendicular to the
cutting board below it, sticking two inches
straight up into toward the ceiling. I rest my
hand on its other half, cupping it lightly
and running a thumb over the edge absent-mindedly,
resting the knife blade gently on its porous skin,
resting it gently under my gentle fingertips,
which press down on the lemon, slightly damp from the
juice within. The knife waits to cut into its flesh,
to devour it whole, to pour its juice out onto
its blade, onto the cutting board surface. Then,
with one fell swoop, the blade presses into the skin,
cuts into the flesh, releasing the fluid, cleaving
the lemon again and again, repeatedly slicing
at its supple white flesh, until all that is left
is a puddle of lemon juice on the cutting board,
the sweet nectar from the whole citrus.

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