I am tired of myself and I will starve myself into submission.

But first, I will eat these nuts. They are shelled Brazils. There must be a machine that does that. Do it with a hammer and see what happens.

I will rest a shelled Brazil at the front of my mouth. I will hold it there between my puckered lips and I will let my tongue feel its rough, brown surface.

Then I will bite!, my incisors making the sudden slice, my molars grinding the nut to an oily mash. I will swallow. I will wash the swallow down with ice-cold water, and I will put another shelled Brazil into my mouth.



After the Brazils I will eat pecans, also shelled, and soft and sweet. They will go well with milk.

Almost anything goes well with milk. For instance, and choosing almost at random: unexpected phone calls in the middle of the day, telling in gentle tones of a lasting change in plans—of a new direction—a sudden vector away. Such calls can be well washed-down with great tumblers of cold, whole milk, white as the whitest white, with little translucent white bubbles on top.

I could drink and drink and drink.

Nuts, I could say, smacking my lips.


After pecans and milk, there will be pistachios and cream.

Pistachios. Shells partly splayed, bending and cracking under my teeth, spilling their sweet salty nuts onto my tongue. Their salty dust goes down my throat or up the back way into my nose. I let the shells fall from my mouth into my hand, and I turn and drop them in the trash can by the chair where I sit.

The cream makes everything smooth and washes nothing down.


I run my finger around the inside of the mug to get up the last of the cream. I put the creamed finger in my mouth and I suck.

I have run out of nuts.

It is time for the starving and the submission.

To accomplish this, it will be helpful if I cut off one of my hands. For instance, and choosing with specific intent: my left hand, which has never done me any good.


Such a mess.


I prop the hand in the living room window to wave hello and goodbye to all who pass.







Tetman Callis is a writer living in Chicago. His short fictions have been published in various magazines, including NOON, New York Tyrant, Wigleaf, Salt Hill, Atticus Review, and Queen Mob’s Tea House (where his “Shod” appeared on January 2, 2017). He is the author of the memoir, High Street: Lawyers, Guns & Money in a Stoner’s New Mexico (Outpost 19, 2012), and the children’s book, Franny & Toby (Silky Oak Press, 2015).

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