‘Brocolli Corn and Tomatoes’, 11″ X 14″, watercolour, 2011.
Sitting on the railing of the balcony of my cell atop the ivory tower at the centre of the universe I noticed some farmers in the park across the highway. I must paint some vegetables, I said to no one in particular. A request was immediately sent to the warden of the tower. Just this once, she said, and don’t you dare speak to any humans about what you do or don’t know about anything! Is that clear? Of course, I replied. I dashed quickly across the highway between the giant rolling mobile entertainment machines where I traded a spherical ball of aluminum I had made from the cigarette packaging I was not supposed to have for a bunch of broccoli. What are you doing? One of the humans squeaked as it approached. I could tell from the pitch of the voice it was a female. I had to be cautious, they befuddle me. Painting the vegetables in the park! I wondered if she understood what I meant. Really! she quipped excitedly, Most people eat them you know! Why would anyone eat broccoli. I jabbed back. She handed me other vegetables to add to my pile. Here, have some corn and tomatoes. You look hungry. Where are you from? I was wearing my uniform and thought it was obvious where I was from, but pointed across the road and up at the top of the ivory tower. Up there! I said. I don’t normally come this close to the ground but I saw the farmers. Are you okay? Up there? She didn’t look up there at all, most humans don’t, look up that is. I thought briefly about saying NO! but quickly decided against it. I could hear the wardens keys jangling in my inner ear. Yes its fine up there. I’d better go before I say something your not supposed to know. Her face went blank. I’d said the wrong thing. What do you mean? She clearly didn’t want an actual answer so I told her I have to go make some soup now. Oh, yes, she was relieved, I thought you said something else. No, I replied, just the soup thing, thats all, do you hear a jangling noise? Its the traffic on the highway, she whispered into my face. So I threw all my paints and vegetables into my plastic bag and ran away across the road. Car horns jangling like keys in my face. The warden was at the gate so she let me in. What’s that?, she said pointing to my plastic bag of stuff.
Broccoli! I replied. I’m going to make soup.