Mark Podesta - Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

Pork Chops and Applesauce


Mark Podesta


We had pork chops and applesauce for dinner that night.  I remember it, the jar of Mott's in the center of the table, the pale chops right next to it.  No one ever talks much at dinner.  From outside the house, the dining room light is the only thing that shines.  The dining room table is small but fits us.  The family portraits on every inch of the wall are the reason it feels cramped.  I look up from my plate, which I never do.  I see heads faced down with closed mouths vibrating, ripping, grinding, mashing, rotating, pulverizing.  Animals, feral animals.  I look at each of them with such a bitterly cold expressionless face it could instantaneously freeze them to death.  I look down again and take a scoop of applesauce.  I look up to see that my family has become wax figures. Then the figures begin to bubble, and ooze, and melt.  Their faces congeal with their necks, as their entire bodies drip away.  They are hollow within, and it is apparent now that they are halfway melted.  I push the remnants of my pork chops out from underneath my gaze.  I push my chair out from the table.  I turn the chair to the left to give me enough room to squeeze out.  I walk out of the dining room and leave my plate on the table.

 It's been years now and my plate is still there.  It has been festering on the dining room table ever since.