Obscurity

After she fell asleep, I stared at the knife for what seemed like a really long time, though I’m sure it was just a few minutes. It called out to me in a low, cool whisper and I pretended to ignore it. I got up to wash the dishes, I took a shower, I watched the baby sleep, but through all of those things, I could hear the knife calling my name. It wanted to feel my insides and watch my blood and guts ooze out in a conglomerate of expression. Somehow, it knew that my mind was an amalgamation of hate and curiosity, so it called to me. For weeks, I didn’t adhere to it’s beckoning call. For weeks, I allowed myself to slump through my daily life of pretending to love my kid who seemed to cry even when he was happy, my mediocre job, and the frigid woman I’ve been with for the last 27 years. How tiring it is to wake up and live the same day over and over again. You never realize it’s actually happening until you notice that people begin to know your every move, every next step and the one after that. I was on the train some time ago and a poor excuse of a woman said to me, “I like your tie today. It’s always that same blue one with the white stripes, but today it’s yellow. Very nice.” I’d never seen her a day in my life, but apparently, she had seen me. She’d seen me enough to know when one little thing about my appearance changed. What’s worse is that the only reason my tie was different that morning is because I was lathering jelly on some toast and somehow, it got all over my tie. So, I changed. That was the morning, though. Once the sloppy, purple glob flew vigorously onto my tie, I rolled my eyes, and muttered to myself that I hated my life. It’s just jelly, I know, but you’d have to be me to understand. Then, the sight of the knife caught my eye. In a way, it reminded me of myself; wasted potential. Here I am with this powerful tool, this object capable of literally taking someone’s life, and I’m reducing it’s grandeur, it’s overwhelming capabilities just to put jelly on my fucking toast. That whole day, I thought about allowing it to roam freely through me in order for it to do exactly what it was designed to do. I danced around the idea relentlessly, doing menial house chores and work duties all while imagining the pain that would course through my being upon the insertion of that knife. Now, as I stare at the gleaming silver, edges sharp to a fault, I’ve decided to answer it’s call.

I picked up the knife and licked it. I licked a bit too close to the edge and nicked my tongue, but it felt sweet. It tasted like relief, and instantly, I knew I wanted more. I needed to feel more. I cut my tongue again, but deeper, and within seconds, blood pooled on my tongue, spilling out of my mouth with fury, and I let it. I looked into the mirror and smiled back at my blood-stained, toothy reflection. Heavy droplets of blood fell into the sink and just looking at it made my knees feeble. My heart curled at the sight of the slick, white porcelain become tainted by my sin. My grievances were all over the place, but it made me feel alive. I tingled all over my body, goosebumps rose on my arms, and then I cut my wrist. At first, not too deep. Admittedly, I was afraid. Although the pain was elaborate in it’s pleasure, I wasn’t prepared to end my little tirade and I wasn’t sure which direction to cut safely, so precautions were taken. But before I could restrain my excitement, I got carried away. Before I knew it, the knife had seduced my will and readiness. My right arm was slashed extensively, giving way to raw skin, and of course, a plethora of blood. It was eagerly pouring out of me as if it had felt trapped and imprisoned within the confines of my skin. If so, we were both breaking free.

Looking into the mirror, I felt like a masterpiece. I was quite pleased with what I’d done so far, but the knife still seemed to thirst for more. My hand held it steadily and tightly as I put it to my abdomen. It wanted to dig deeper, further its’ prodding of my body, but I hesitated. I questioned what the next step would be because surely, this could be it.

“Don’t be a pussy. Put it to your heart.”

Having been startled, I dropped the attempted murder weapon and swiveled around quickly to see my wife standing in the doorway with an unamused facial expression. I watched as her eyes roamed the entirety of my body, as well as the the blood spatter that had accumulated in various places. I tried to read her, but I couldn’t. In all honesty, she looked a bit bored. Almost as if this was a movie she had seen one too many times. I expected her to turn on her heel and remind me to shut the bathroom light off when I was finished, but instead, she bent down to pick up the knife. In a slow motion brimming with confidence and familiarity, she brought the knife directly to my heart and little by little, she pushed it in. At that moment, I stopped breathing. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I began to imagine what dying would feel like, I tried to make peace with it, but I was afraid. Her serenity was daunting.

“Are you scared?”

“No.” I lied.

“Good.”

Finally, she removed the knife from my chest and stared at me intently. It dangled from her finger tips effortlessly, making me wonder which of the two was more dangerous; her or the knife? I opened my mouth to speak, but she shushed me. Stepping closer to me, my wife put her lips to mine, the knife to her throat, and when I pulled away, she collapsed. Blood spurted out of her throat in a way that made my excursion seem childish. I ogled her lifeless body, eyes wide open, mind wide shut, and I envied her. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, but I avoided my eyes. I couldn’t face the embarrassment I felt in failing at suicide. I sighed deeply and turned on the shower to clean myself off as my wife lied on the floor soaked in a puddle of her own blood. Right then, the baby let out a piercing cry as if he knew that his entire life just plummeted into a heaping pit of flames before it could even begin. At least one of us got away.

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