My knife never sings but hums instead when withdrawn from its block, a metallic whisper so modest only the wielder may hear it. Or perhaps the dog, who seems to enjoy the kitchen nearly as much as I. A Japanese blade, it’s a joy to hold, perfectly balanced, stainless steel-molybdenum alloy, blade and handle of one piece, bright, untarnished, and so sharp as to slide through, rather than awkwardly rupture and divide, its next task on the board.

We’ve never counted the chopped and rendered onions, the fine dice, slender rings and discarded skins, but if we could gather all the corpses we’ve produced together over the years, we’d form a monument to our work, cooperation of metal and man, a Waterloo mound in memory of the bulbs laid there, the planning involved, the missteps and serendipity, and the tears shed along the way.

The blade doesn’t care. It is. It works. It moves things, it lifts, it parts them, and in return is cleansed, and later, in the quiet room, maintains its edge with a silvery rasp, angled steel on steel in a circular motion, over and over, until finally it hums its way back into the block. But it never sings.


“Onions” first appeared here in 2015. Hmm. This reminds me (again) that I need to sharpen knives…

Alas, my bout with COVID-19 has rendered me incapable of, or unwilling to, cut into onions. COVID-induced parosmia is still affecting me, and onions and garlic are still difficult to eat. But at least bacon, peppers, arugula, chocolate, and hoppy ales are once again palatable. Damned pandemic!

11 thoughts on “Onions

  1. There IS a relationship between some men and their chosen knife – I like tagging it as “our work”. I regularly observe with awe a different “team” mincing all sorts of things and marvel at the synchronicity. When I produce similar results, I am slower, methodical, cautious almost. When husband gets going it’s more like dance partners in a whirl.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m pretty sure my “happiness” threshold for parosmia is too low, but if you retrieved bacon, chocolate and hoppy ales, well …. that may be as much as any mortal can hope for. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Bacon and chile peppers were probably the most important to me, even above chocolate. Dried chiles came back quickly, but raw peppers still exude the “COVID” odor a bit, and I avoid eating them. Once cooked, they’re fine. Life is weird, but good. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.