August 20, 2012 Comments Off on Torn by Marc Lowe
Every time I look at the torn upholstery in the living room, I feel like vomiting. It reminds me of an open wound, makes me sick to my stomach. I have to walk around the apartment blindfolded, lest my eyes fall upon it and I become ill again. I realize how irrational this must sound, but I cannot help it. The torn upholstery is really revolting to me: this is the truth.
When I was 16, my father hurt me. He did it on that very sofa. Why doesn’t anyone patch up the sofa? Why doesn’t anyone fix the holes? They are disgusting, so like open wounds, festering wounds. Why doesn’t anyone else in my household see this? Am I the only one who feels this way?!
To tell the truth, I’m the one who ripped it. Yes, I did it with a kitchen knife. I was feeling … I don’t know: down. And I needed to take my anger out on something, so I stabbed the sofa. Does that sound so crazy? I stabbed the sofa. But now it makes me sick. It reminds me of everything that is bad in the world. I tried taping it up, but my father tore the tape off. He won’t let me repair the wound. Neither will my mother, who obeys Dad’s every word.
So now, I have to walk around blindfolded. This can be dangerous business, though I’ve gotten used to navigating the apartment in the dark. No one dares mess with me, as I constantly keep the kitchen knife in hand. When it comes down to it, my father is a coward. He never once tried to wrestle the knife from me, even while I had the blindfold on. They’re scared of me, and I’m scared of the torn upholstery. I guess we’re a strange family. Then again, I guess most families are strange.
I am seeing a psychotherapist. She is trying to get me to open up about the things that are “holding me back,” but I simply can’t. She thinks I’m afraid of the hole in the sofa because it represents a vagina, my vagina. What a ridiculous idea. Freudian mumbo-jumbo. Mom is paying her good money to tell me that the tear in the upholstery is really a vagina, and that this is the root of my “problems.” Please.
I hate you. I hate you both, Mom and Dad. I wish you would let me repair the tear in the upholstery. I wish you would, for once, confront me, tell me that walking around blindfolded with knife in hand concerns you. You disgust me. One of these days, I might just bump into you by mistake and accidentally stab you. Then what will you do? Huh? Will you repair the upholstery then, after it’s too late?
© 2012 Marc Lowe
Marc Lowe is a writer living in Southern Japan. His work has been published in various places. He recently guest-edited an issue of the print ‘zine Sein und Werden (“Sur-noir”).