How a Toast Hums into Being

by preinfarction

There is a bread in the toaster. Soon it will be a toast. The sun is not really up yet, and neither are you.

Neither is the toast.

The bread is in the far right slot of the toaster, because that’s where you put it. Everything is in the right place. At the very least, the bread is in the right place.

The toaster hums. Hummmmmm. The refrigerator hums. Huuuuuuum. The refrigerator hums lower. The lights are probably humming, but you don’t notice. For now, the world is a very quiet choir. A quoir, perhaps.

You blink, and it’s a pretty big blink. It lasts longer than a normal blink. You had closed your eyes for a sustained period, and things went dark for a bit. It was nice. You might do it again.

Wup! There, you did it again. A nice big blink.

You take a yawn and it scrunches up your face. Your upper lip scrunches toward your nose and your upper cheeks scrunch toward your eyes. For a moment you look like a sneeze.

The bread is toasting. Hummmmm. From above, you can’t quite see it changing color, but you know. You’ve always known.

Maybe not always. But you’ve definitely made toast before. That’s a fact. It’s a true statement that you’ve …. made toast.

You make a little smacking noise with your tongue, like you’re testing it out for the first time today. It’s a sound that says, “Well. Hm. Yes.” It’s a sound like a baby kissing at a bottle. It’s a a sound that says, “I sure am here doing things.”

The toaster is white on the outside and it is bread on the inside. Also there are heating elements glowing orange on the inside. They’re probably doing the humming.

You look away from the heating elements and the word “nucleophilicity” hovers in the air. It often does this when you make toast. It is one of the toast’s Inner Words Of Power. The toast has other words as well, like “maltose” and “amadori”. They are each beautiful in their own way. But today the word is nucleophilicity.


The word fades away to black.

Ooo-wee-oh we-oh.

You forgot what you were doing.

You were making a delicious toast.

The toast is for your stomach. The stomach is getting filled for travel. First your stomach will go to the airport, and then your stomach will go to Houston. You will accompany it to Houston. And to the airport.

The plane to Houston will have other people - a few hundred other people. On a three hour flight, you will sleep, and many other people will sleep beside you. Perhaps fifty? At least fifty.

Fifty-some people will sleep together above the weather, in a cradle with wings. Your feet will all face Houston. It wouldn’t have to be that way; someone could sit backwards in their chair. Or sideways. Upside-down. But they probably won’t. When fifty people sleep together in a plane bound for Houston, their feet will all face Houston. This is the way of our people. We have a harmony about us.

What if you do something unharmonious in your sleep? It might happen. But it’ll be okay.

What if you snore? You might snore. But it won’t be so loud. Not so loud that people will mind. The plane’s engines are basically snoring, and no one minds that. The individual air conditioning nozzles kind of snore too. It’ll be okay. Like a quoir, almost.

What if you talk in your sleep? You might talk in your sleep. It could happen. It happens more often than one-in-fifty-sleeps. If you talk in your sleep, then you can have a conversation with the other people who will talk in their sleeps. It won’t make sense, but it’ll be okay. There will be a harmony about it.

What if you wake up with a big old erection? People know about this. It’s a commonly known fact of biology: some people wake up with big old erections. Don’t worry about it. It’s going to be okay. And harmonius? It will be a harmonous erection. Sure.

Fifty-some people will sleep together, and it’ll be okay.

Without incident, without effort, your bodies will pass over cities and farms and oil fields, seven miles up in the air, over alto-stratus, and strato-cumulus, and apatosaurus. That last one is a dinosaur. But you never know where their bones might be. They were native to North America, after all, or so you read once maybe, you think so.

Seven miles up, your mind will settle down into itself, settle down into a drifting course of unchecked attention. Your thoughts will settle far away from the mental machinery that tests for consistency, so deep that new worlds will be conjured up as you sink through memories, like sinking into a yielding bed. New worlds will be conjured up in exactly the same way that news stories are conjured up when Buster Keaton catches a newspaper over his face on a windy day. It’s fundamentally the same, you suppose. It could be supposed.

Seven miles up and three hours later, you’ll awaken in Houston with sweaty eyelids and a general feeling that something which was empty in you has been refilled, and something which was too full has been emptied.

Your stomach growls. The toast is still hiding in the toaster, but it will be up soon.

You close your eyes again, more tightly this time, with a pressure that you can feel. It’s a pressure like tensing your leg muscles in preparation for standing up from a soft chair. It’s a pressure as if you were squeezing a friend’s hand to see how they were doing. And how are you doing?

The toast pops up and you open your eyes. You’re doing fine. You close your eyes for one more big blink and the refrigerator hums.