Tasting by Aizlyn B




Prose


 


Photo taken by the author at Ft. Tilden in one of the abandoned military batteries.
Photo taken by the author at Ft. Tilden in one of the abandoned military batteries.

 
The door was painted white so she wouldn’t see it, unless she could. She could.

It wasn’t a dead ghost door. Even if it was a dead ghost door, she could see all ghosts. She could hear ghosts. And smell them. And taste them. (That was the most important, in her opinion. Tasting a ghost.) And if she could do all of this with dead ghosts, why not with a dead ghost door. A dead ghost’s door.

But the door wasn’t a dead ghost door anyway. It was a door for living ghosts. Low living, perhaps. But she lived low. That’s why she could see it.

She was a low ghost.

She also saw white graffiti on the white wall broken by the white door having no jambs or cracks, only a knob and the words: “Hey you!” with an arrow —>

Others saw the graffiti differently.

To some, there was none to see. Only the doorknob on the wall/door. (These ghosts, however, always took note of the glory hole. It was often overlooked. Some were not privy to its hiddenness as the hole cast no internal shadow to showcase it. One had to be looking for it. Which some of the ghosts were. Always on the hunt for glory. However, some did stumble upon it with their projecting, stumbling, probing fingers, feeling for any differences or indifference of/in the door. They saw/tasted it as a peephole for someone on their knees. That was also a truth.)

Some saw a handsomely stylized picture of a large cock with disproportionately small balls with a few wavy lines of semen squirting from the head. It seemed that the tip was going to ram into the door. The wavy lines drizzled across the invisible door frame.

Also on view was the faint imprint of a Rorschach blot, which, whatever any individual interpretation may have been, led all of these ghosts inside.

However, of all the senses she could use on the corporeal and incorporeal ghosts, the living and the dead, she couldn’t feel. Which was all the better, since she didn’t want to have some ghost feeling all on her.

So while they could also see her, et al, they could neither feel her.

And as a ghost who couldn’t feel touches of the spirits, she brushed past (and was brushed past) with no distinction between hard and soft. Only fast or slow movements. Fast could be a flick or a knockout uppercut. Slow could be a breeze or a bulldozing push. Unfelt but real.

The sensation of tasting a ghost did not offer to her the pleasure that biting down hard might.

She wanted to eat the door. Not a nibble. A meal. She longed for a sensation of feeling full, but was never satiated. Maybe the ghost door would be different. Could she feel the ghost door in her stomach, though? Maybe it was the only feeling she could get from (and give to) a ghost, she thought. A ghostly thing inside of her. If she felt full, the door would feel surrounded by her stomach, having been chewed up and eaten. Not feeling the biting, only the ripping and shredding and tearing apart, and the sensation of falling, down down the esophagus.

She walked up to the door, assuming that the only visible sign of the door, the doorknob, was on the left side of the door. It was actually set in the middle. The door opened like a drawer. However, it was a push to open door, so it was more like pushing in a drawer on its casters. (On the other side, there was no sign of a track upon which the door might glide upon.) This invariably caused consternation among the jerks beckoned inside by the variable signage. There was no key, but one still had to turn the knob to enter.

She did not enter.

She tasted it. Licked the front. It was smooth and dry. Although she received no sensation, her mouth lost all wetness and was a snake. She licked the roof to start the juices again, but it took a full minute for them to trickle. The taste was turpentine. Eating it would be difficult without something to cut the stinging, pungent aftertaste. She would take big bites, she thought. Besides, this wasn’t a huge door. She’d been in training for something much larger with her regimen of food competition-style water drinking, stretching her stomach and giving her control of the surrounding muscles more fully. She liked hot dogs. The turpentine would remind her of mustard, she decided. The dryness and substance: bread. There was no meat. She would pretend to be vegan. Ghost hot dogs.

She put her lips on the knob. She kissed it. She licked it and it tasted like brass. It tasted a sweet and tangy penny flavor. This might cause indigestion, even if she did not feel the ghost knob in her insides. Her intestines would still process it, noting the indentation of a thing, even if there was no feeling it.

Sticking her tongue through the glory hole, she detected a slight note of peppermint in the air beyond the door.

Biting straight through the door seemed the best way to go about eating it. She decided she would eat from the center outward instead of wasting time trying to find the edges.That meant the knob would be first. She sucked on it and pop, out it came. It was hard. She knew that it was hard because she could taste the tiny fragments coming off of the larger, brassy whole. But the hard was like peanut brittle. Or toffee. Metal toffee. She felt the fragments whittling away as if she could taste the crunching. This initial hurdle was easily dispensed of, and on down the gullet. There was some light shining through this new, bigger hole, but nothing was readily visible on the other side.

She jutted out her jaw to place her bottom teeth inside the ridge of the hole where the knob had been, so as to bite upward. She kept her tongue in place against the turpentine flavor to hold her mouth steady. She didn’t want to bite off her tongue, but she lacked another way to best line up her mouth to chomp. Once she felt good to go, she retracted her tongue and bit. Bringing her top teeth down into the door, bringing her bottom teeth up from the hole. The flavor of the door burst inside of her mouth. Gone was the turpentine of the outside. She was now overwhelmed with the taste of cinnamon. She felt the taste as being chewy, the way the flavor squished inside of her mouth. On top of her tongue, against her cheeks, pressed against the roof of her mouth.

She kept her teeth bared and her tongue out of the way, gnawing away at the door. The yellowy-flavored, bitter turpentine meshed with the unsweetened, raw cinnamon flavor in harsh swallows. She started to feel a load on her stomach floor. She could feel. Something. It felt horrible. She felt sick.

The wider the hole became, the more she smelled and tasted the peppermint on the other side.

 

Aizlyn B is a Doctor of Economics. Her recently defended dissertation caused quite a stir: “Buffett on Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha through the lens of the Oracle of Margaritaville, or, why Warren is a Parrothead.” She lives in NYC.