Spoon and fork were lying at the bottom of the sink, breathless, their gleaming silver bodies speckled with oily tomato sauce. They were waiting to be washed.
“That was…” said spoon.
“…different,” said fork.
They never worked together. Then something magical happened—Italian night.
“Maybe we’ll do it again sometime?” Spoon was laying everything on the table. He’d always been in love with fork.
“Look, it was fun,” she said. “The noodles. The sauce. The turning. But you know I’m going with knife.”
Fork usually worked alone when the family had pasta. Unless it was lasagna, then she and knife did their thing. But this spaghetti dinner was weird. “Hey, paisano, passa da breada!” the family shouted. Cringe-worthy.
“I couldn’t have held so much pasta without you…” fork began. So she was going to set him down easy.
“Knife and I are a team. You know, I hold the food, he cuts it.”
“Knife doesn’t get you!” He’d spent countless nights rehearsing that line in the cutlery drawer.
“Stop! We had one European-style night, but that’s it.”
“What’s so great about him?” spoon demanded.
“He has an edge.”
“So that’s it? I’m not edgy?”
“I’m ovoid! And you weren’t complaining about that when I was holding you through dinner!”
“You’re more like a brother to me.”
“A brother?” It was as if fork had lifted up her boyfriend and driven him right into spoon’s heart.
Knife floated down into the sink.
“Hey gorgeous,” he said to fork.
Spoon eyed knife. That trim bastard put the cut in cutlery.
“Weird night,” said knife. “I buttered some bread, and that was it. Was the fam' trying to sound Italian?
“Yeah. Haha.” said fork nervously.
“All those jerking hands,” knife said. “Idiots.”
“WASPs trying to be ethnic,” fork said.
“What was that scraping I heard?” knife asked fork.
“Oh that? It was nothing. The family used spoon and I to eat their spaghetti, right paisano? Haha.”
“You usually do pasta solo,” knife said, eyeing fork. “Unless it’s lasagna.”
“I guess the family wanted to have a bit of fun,” she responded.
“Try something different,” spoon added.
“Is that right?” knife said to spoon. “I wondered why you disappeared. You’re more of a soup guy. A loner type. And Italians don’t use spoons when they eat spaghetti. Morons!”
Each was lifted, washed and rinsed. As they were drying in the utensil holder, spoon couldn’t help but stare as beads of water ran down forks excellent tines—the ones that earlier that evening were all over his body.
“I hear the family are inheriting a set of steak knives,” spoon said.
“Steak knives?” said fork.
“Watch it spooney, or I’m gonna bend you like Uri Geller on a late night talk show,” knife said.
“Those guys have wooden handles,” fork said. “And rivets.”
“Bigger serrations too,” added spoon. He was a real shit disturber.
“My serrations are perfect, right honey?” knife said to fork.
“Well, they can handle soft foods, but…” fork said.
“There’s no but! Now how about you and I towel off and have a chat in the cutlery drawer?” he said to his girlfriend.
“They’re air-drying us tonight,” said fork, as the Family member left the kitchen.
Knife eyed spoon. “Oh, wait. I get it. You think cause you and my girlfriend worked together for one meal that you can get in with her?”
“Don’t be mean,” said fork.
“We know what you and your spooney buddies do on your side of the cutlery drawer.”
“Stop it,” said fork.
Knife twisted his words into spoon. “You guys spooning each other late at night. It’s sick!”
“We’re concave! It just happens!”
“We hear weeping,” fork said.
“That’s spork. He/she doesn’t know where they belong.”
“I hope you enjoyed your little party with my girlfriend, but Italian night is history. The only member of the fam that was into it was the dad. It was obviously his idea and he had way too much Sangiovese. That guy has a problem.”
“That’s it!” cried spoon, throwing himself against the edge of the utensil holder.
“No!” shouted all the flatware as spoon’s second attempt tipped the container over, sending everyone crashing onto the counter. Spoon watched with glee as knife skidded towards the abyss between the countertop and the stove. No one ever returned from that place.
“Mamma mia!” hollered knife.
Knife stopped short of the edge. Spoon’s scoop de grâce was a failure. A Family member gathered up the scattered flatware and organized them into the cutlery drawer.
Spoon could hear fork and knife consoling each other. He was nestled up against someone, as usual.
“Rough night?” asked spork.
“I nearly killed knife,” said spoon, noticing for the first time the gentle curve in spork’s tines, how they flowed into the bowl shape they both shared.
“I like a man with an edge,” said spork.
They drew closer.
“That’s amore,” sighed spoon.