I carve fruit. Usually melons, but on occasion other fruit will do. In the fall, I’m often expected to carve pumpkins so I make a point of doing at least one to display somewhere prominent and visible.
I’m never entirely certain how my clients find me. I don’t exactly advertise, and yet I almost always have enough work booked to keep me busy.
Then he walked in my door.
I say “he” out of a lack of any better choice. I’m still not entirely certain what he looked like, even speaking to him without looking took effort. As if he was not used to dealing with those still living, but was making an effort. I respect that, but his presence in my shop was still deeply unsettling.
If I thought I would be believed I would add “fruit carver to death incarnate” to my sign. At least at Halloween time, it would add a certain unusual something. But who would believe me? I barely believe me, and I was there!
Even less likely to be believed was the subject that he required.
He wanted a series of panels depicting a kitten at play and growing into a cat, carved into a pumpkin so that as the candle flame wobbled the kitten would almost appear to be alive.
It was a good commission, although he did pay in cash, in old coins that seemed to want to be arranged in pairs.
The daily grind continues, with all the office denizens serving as puppets to the whims of their boss and company. But the strings aren’t all pulled from the top. As we’ve seen it is never easy to spot who is pulling the invisible strings. Seen or unseen, they are nonetheless pulled. And we all dance to their beat.
One day a voice of reason will shine a lantern of truth powerful enough to catch the stings in action. Until then, we have little choice. We conform. We obey. We don’t cross against the light, make waves, or color outside the lines.
Even our least actions are thought out carefully and regulated to keep all operations on an even keel.
The incident with the apple is not typical. We are a fruit-free workplace. But the apple came in uninvited and found an unoccupied space to borrow.
The next thing we knew, we had a batch of fruit propaganda inserted into the company newsletter.