FICTION
Personae Gratae
Arianna Sullivan

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Do you remember that summer we decided to eat only bread? Or I decided bread, and you broccoli.

We were so sniffly and under-vitamined, holed up in that New York high-rise (it was some sort of accident—your agent booked it by mistake and had agreed in advance to pay), swept up into a season of fancy I-do-mixed-media artists and even fancier drinks.

For health we decided to introduce different foods, as toppings, so it wouldn’t be breaking our respective one food rules. I started with butter for bread and you with grated parmesan for broccoli. Then we expanded together: broccoli with cheese and butter, bread with butter and cheese. Our first real success was an olive oil bread-or-broccoli-topping that contained fine-chopped garlic and shallots, raw. Raw garlic and onion were good against colds people said.

Fine-chopping, mashing, spreading and drizzling, we greased our way through the malnourished slur of monochrome consumption. June, July, August. Martini olives that never got eaten. Little black dresses. Rhinestones like almonds—which was all anybody else was eating.

I loved the way you would wink at me and say to the man holding the hors d’oeuvres tray, no thank you, I only eat… but he always walked away before you could say, broccoli.


Arianna Sullivan's work has previously appeared in The Laurel Review, The Santa Fe Literary Review and Glyph Magazine, amongst others. Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Arianna lives and writes in Berlin, Germany.