When she slices the vegetables for the family evening meal, what are the thoughts flirting with the rhythmic movement of the blade? “Lost, lost, lost, happy, happy, happy, more, more, more?” The knife slides and cuts through the skin of her ring finger. Gold band tarnished by blood; appearances challenged by new stirrings deep inside. Today the band-aid only serves to camouflage the surface of the wound. It does not take away the pain, persistent reminder of another kind of malaise. A vague awareness that something is not quite as she dreamed it would be when she still remembered to dream. What happened? Hadn’t she promised herself that she would stand out? Wouldn’t she be the one to master the rules of the game? A happy marriage, successful children, pristine house, cute dog, endless hours spent on charity work? What happened? When did the dreams yield to the routine of her days? Red lollipops…she can almost taste them; the memory of their sugary softness fills her mouth and obliterates the sting of dried blood. She closes her eyes and lets it happen; she’s alone; it can be her little secret. She rides the wave; she allows the ripples of pleasure to flow down her throat, to fill her stomach. The warmth spreads down her limbs and for a stolen moment, she’s in complete harmony with herself. Yes, this is what it feels like; this is life as she once imagined it; she has not forgotten.
“Mom? I’m home!” Her eyes jolt open and scan the room for a spot to hold on to, a branch to anchor her body back in the present moment. “I’m in the kitchen, honey. I cut my finger; I’m taking care of it.” She does not notice the tiny drop of blood on her right thigh: the green apron hangs, forgotten, at the back of the double door.
(to be continued)