The Eyes Have It
John A. Ward

              I lost the original Dolores Pomodoro on the first New Year's Eve we celebrated together.  Her maiden exposure to alcohol unleashed darkness, but spontaneity bound me to her.  After our last Auld Lang Syne, we prepared a breakfast of champagne and potatoes. 

"I don't like the way it's looking at me," she said.  

"It's just a potato," I said.  

"Oh, it wants you to think it's a potato," she said.  "But it's a sentient being.  I had one like it when I was a child."  

"You had a Mister Potato Head too?  So did I."  

"Yes, and in those days we used real potatoes, not plastic.  I created him, gave him life.  He was a golem."  

"Did you have a Mrs. Potato Head?"  

"Yes, she was a tomato.  That's not a value judgment.  I used a tomato for her head.  She was nice, mellowed him out.  He was mean.  He did nasty things to me, but not when she was around.  He waited until we were alone."  

"You were molested by a potato?"  

"Oh no, it wasn't physical.  He was verbally abusive."  

"Potatoes can't talk.  They have no mouths."  

"They're telepathic.  He said it all with his eyes.  I can sense it.  You probably don't have the gift.  You'd be shocked if you knew what these wicked root monsters are thinking."  

"If his eyes bothered you, why didn't you just turn him over?"  

"I did, but he had eyes in the back of his head."  

"I'm not pouring you any more drinks.  I'm cutting you off now."  

"You don't believe me either.  They're vicious I tell you.  It must be from living underground."  

"You're losing touch with reality."  

"Everyone has turned against me.  You're all siding with these malicious tubers against me."  

"Calm down.  Do you want me to put them away?"  

"I want you to slice and dice them.  Make Julienne fries.  Mash them.  Won't anyone help me?"  

I stuffed the potatoes in a sack and tied it shut with tight twine.  "I feel really silly doing this, but if it will make you feel better."  

"Take them with you when you leave.  I don't want them hanging around here.  I'm afraid to sleep with them in the house."  

"I'm taking the liquor too."  

"Can you just leave the beer?  Beer's not drinking."  

"No, nothing alcoholic."  

"Please, I need a little to steady my nerves."  

I gathered up everything I could find, beer, wine, whiskey, even cheap cologne.  I took it and the sack of potatoes with me, but even as I did, I knew it was futile.  She had a stash, perhaps squirreled away in the root cellar.   

The tragedy is, she became predictable.  

First published: February, 2007
comments to the writer: Knob'