Onion Sprouts / by Heather Taylor

As published in McSweeneys

I thought you would be a good idea. I like your other varieties: alfalfa, bean, broccoli, even fennelgreek. And I don’t even know what fennelgreek is. But I know what onions are. I like onions sometimes. They’re good on hamburgers and fried with mushrooms. What are stirfries or curries or hamburger hash without the joy of the bulbous onion? But onion spouts, you are a category all to yourself.

You look like you would be good, your springy green lushness overflowing the bounds of your small plastic holding pen. Your price the same as any other package of sprouts on offer, which makes the purchase that much more tempting. Now I have to buy you. Count the last few pennies in my wallet and give them to the spotty teenager who doesn’t care if I am about to find enlightenment in your presence. I mean he tries to pack you under a bag of flour. What was he thinking? You could have been crushed.

So with your box safely stowed in its own plastic Safeway bag, I take you home, fully prepared to honour my hunger with your goodness. I load you on my sandwich: a boring boloney accompanied by an uneven tomato slice and plain Jane cheese. I think even the thin layer of mustard coating the insides of my sliced white cannot compare to you.

Now I have learned. Oh. Have. I. Learned.

I cannot breathe without remembering you, my mouth insides burnt by your touch. It’s one that was less inspired by hints of onion and more the incarnate of all evil factors of onion packed in the cutest form ever. You are still on my plate. You have even scattered yourself about the countertop, fridge and floor. You have a life of your own and are 10 times the price of a normal onion. You are the devil. I still smell of you. Oh how I curse the day I saw you.