Catherine Lacey

Everyone had finally had it. He was tired. His skin was uncomfortably dry. He’d forgotten the names of his childhood pets. He had stopped answering the door or the phone or pleas for directions from tourists pacing the sidewalk. Everyone was eating things he had never thought he liked. Jelly Omelets. Canned Fish. Plain pasta cooked to a paste.

Everyone often went to the grocery store knowing that all he wanted to buy was a dozen eggs. He took the egg carton to the check out. He placed it on the conveyor belt and watched it ease up to HELLO My Name Is ALLESANDRA. Everyone looked at the cashier—a firm and amber-skinned human, too firm to be a grocery clerk.

She pursed her lips at him, again, again, always with the eggs. They were both tired, weren’t they? So tired. Hadn’t they had it, or was there more to be had?

Everyone lifted a fist and smashed the carton. The yolks ran down the conveyor belt, under the little metal flap and into the cogs, where it congealed with the rest.

It’s the egg guy again, Allesandra groan-yelled to her manger.

The manager had also had it. He was certain there was no more to be had.

Why is this human coming to smash eggs? Why does he misunderstand the word, BAN? BAN. You’re BAN, egg smasher. I could call the police!

The manager followed Everyone as he walked to the street, a dewy drop of yolk on his eyebrow.

Next time the police, you egg smasher!

Sometimes Everyone came home to find all his books had been taken out of their alphabetical sequence. He started locking the windows but the disordering didn’t stop. Everyone threatened the neighbors but the disordering became even more disorderly.

Things were getting worse, Everyone thought. On this fact, Everyone was very much in agreement with himself.

Catherine Lacey will open a bed and breakfast in Brooklyn this fall. She writes when she's not doing this and has just completed her first book.