Not sure what made me look inside that toaster. Probably because the outside was so fingerprinted and gunky. It wasn’t like the shiny, clean toaster at home, thanks to my mother wiping and shaking it out. This toaster was in a rooming house during college, in a worn and dark basement kitchen.
Looking down past the coils while holding my bread at the
ready, I saw a dead bee. A bit shocked at the location when I was only trying
to make breakfast, it briefly occurred to me to either skip toast there forever
or clean. Instead, I pushed my slice down, browning to medium-dark. Checking
each day thereafter before pushing the lever, I watched the bee carcass get
smaller and smaller until it disappeared.