Day 335: 499 Words About A Bucket
It’s Thursday. That day after Wednesday and before Sunday. It’s also the day that I force people to pick writing prompts for me. This week’s selection came from Joe, who wanted me to write 499 words about a bucket. Not just buckets, but a singular bucket. The second he chose that prompt, a repressed memory came flying into my face, like a, uhh, you’ll read about it. Here’s the story in 499 words:
There’s many reasons why people won’t eat a certain food. Some don’t like the texture. Some don’t like the smell. Some are just contrarian assholes. But sometimes, our hatred for the food is so deeply rooted that it’s kind of hard to explain to people. You might just hate it’s vibe or had a bad time with it. I suffer from the latter. Luckily, it’s a food that I don’t encounter often. But it did happen once, as Scott made it for Joe’s birthday. I gave a wry smile, tried my best to choke it down and managed to have a good time despite it. However, hours later, at about 3 AM to be exact, it came and hit me in the stomach. On our long walk home, during our 5678th conversation about how we need to make more friends, cigarette in my hand, I stopped walking. On a lovely sidewalk-front on Dean Street, I projectile vomited. It lasted for 10 seconds, I cleared my throat, took a drag of my smoke and resumed walking. I offered no explanation to what happened, but if I did, it would involve me telling a story about a bucket…
Years ago, before I owned a Dreamcast, my Dad needed some help. The garbage disposal had need long dead and if my Mom’s dishwashing problems couldn’t get any worse, the kitchen sink was backed up. He yelled for me to come downstairs to help him, which I found to be peculiar because I was worthless. But I got my ass downstairs all the same.
I found him in his workshop, standing on a chair, tending to a pipe. He held a straightened coat hanger.
Can you grab that bucket?
You mean the Christmas popcorn tin?
It’s a bucket.
I held the bucket below the pipe and water drained. But it wasn’t regular water. It was gray and murky. It had a distinct smell that I only encounter when I drive by big garbage dumps or use the second bathroom at work. He took the straightened coat hanger and started shimmying.
After about 2 minutes, it finally happened.
The clog came out.
I still see it in slow motion. A gray and green, moldy pork chop came tumbling out like a fat man on a water slide. I watched in horror as it cannonballed into the bucket. It caused a splash that sent muck all over me. In my hair, on my glasses, some even got in my mouth. The taste was indescribably wretched. And I just stood there, staring at the pork chop, ready to die.
Of course, that night, my mom made pork chops. I couldn’t do it. I ate only green beans for dinner. The next time she made pork chops, same situation. I couldn’t look at shake n’ bake without picturing it plopping into the bucket.
And as I stood there on Dean Street, staring at my puddle of vomit, I realized that some things you just never get over.