I am not insane, not irrational or particularly fatuous. For here, I can look at myself in this dirty mirror, my naked chest, my bosom, the very skin that binds my body and keeps me together. There is dirt and blood and dust upon it, but that does not mean that I am insane. The mirror portrays me this way, the bending of the light in an unnatural way, different from the way the rest of the world should see me. I do not look like those wide, hollow eyes that are staring back at me, that I know do not belong to me, bloodshot. Mine is the mind of a calm, collected, even philosophical intellect.
I know, I too have glanced down at the knife on the vanity, its serrated edge with fragments of flesh upon it, dripping of blood. Mistakes happen. They happen to everyone. That’s all this was, it was a mistake. Mistakes can be fixed.
He did me no wrong, no real wrong. All he did was scream at me, but that was his fault. He never should have screamed at me. He knows what I’m like when I lose my temper. I had told him that I had a bad day. I told him about losing my job, but he ignored my words. They were mere wisps upon the air to him and he did not care to let them in. If anyone is to blame, it is he that should be blamed. I can’t take my eyes off the blade, the blade that still has pieces of him in its teeth. Teeth that not long ago and chewed and torn deep into that chest which I had kissed so many times. I could not kiss it now. There is no breath within it. What was inside, is now outside.
Would you not feel the same? Would you not have simply wanted to silence him?
I reach down and sip the steaming coffee I brewed but minutes ago and took a bite of the fresh toast, smeared with orange marmalade, its chucks of fleshy orange remind me of his own pieces still in the jagged edge of the blade. But these are so much sweeter than he ever was. Homemade goodness upon my crispy bread.
Toast in hand, savoring the bite, I look again toward the mirror and pause. My face. My dear, dirty face. I approach the mirror and can see the smears of his DNA upon it, but I can wash that clean. I can wash that clean just as I can fix this mistake.
Upon washing my hands and my arms and my face, I pause. I stare once again at the face in the mirror. I have washed it. I have cleansed it. Yet it still appears so dirty, so filthy. It can be washed a thousand times, until there is no skin remaining and yet, it will still be dirty. Is this guilt I feel? Now that is insane. How can I possibly feel guilt for something that was not my fault. Not I, I who was not the instigator of this treachery. I am merely a tool, as a hammer is to a carpenter. As an attack dog is to its master.
True, attack dogs are put down when they make a mistake. They are not given a chance to make a mistake again.
The blade in my hand is still dirty, heavy, still disgustingly offensive. It too can be cleaned a thousand times and it too will still remain dirty. Not because it contains particles upon it, but because of the actions that it had performed. Why then do I see myself as dirty? Was it not the blade that did this? Not I. Because I did something just? Because I quieted a beast that had for so long tortured me? Tortured me with love? Tortured me with his endless pleas to hold me? Tormented me with desires to have a family? Do I look like I want a family?
This blade. This singular blade. It has a strange shape when you look directly at the blade. I shall correct the mistake, I shall rid the filth from my beautiful body, cut it out like a tumor is excised from an otherwise healthy body. My tumor lies within my mind, but it too can be excised. Placing the blade upon the vanity counter, angled up at myself, I thrust my head forward bringing my full weight down upon it and briefly hear a crunch, a strange popcorn sound but no pain. Falling, I’m falling.
Laying upon the floor I have a fleeting thought of how he and I are now laying under the same roof, at rest.