Cheese (train writings)

by Matt Kang

Before you say anything else —sir, please—let me tell you something.

When I first moved to the commune, I loved it. I needed it. It was a nourishment of the soul; an escape from the hard streets and vacant stares of the city. But, after some uncountable number of months, I began to yearn for society: the noise, the anxiousness, the wider array of emotions well beyond strained contentment.

This one night was notable. John, a former advertising executive, now the food distributor of the commune, handed out wedges of a bleach-white cheese. Fingers light, wrist limp and his smile plastic, he handed me a chunk of it. Hungry from the morning-to-afternoon harvest, I took a bite right from hand to mouth.

"This tastes like goat cheese," I said.

"Actually, it is our finest human cheese," said John.

Way down the long oak table, Margerie, a larger woman about eight months pregnant, looked straight at me and gave me an assuring grin.

I spent the rest of my night gargling my mouth at the spigot.

And this is why, sir, I would like my job back at this company.