Nineteen is the number of times I stabbed my father. One in each forearm, shoulder, thigh, calves. Neck back stomach balls. Between two ribs the knife plunged and pierced one lung, two, and caught on a shard of bone, a tendon shred. Wrench tug free. I’d pictured each puncture in detail one by one. Not over and over on loop like some freak but while waiting for the bus or falling asleep I thought about the order of it, in and out and back in, the quiet shrill of it. Muscle rip against blade, bone scrape against metal.
I first saw the sculpture about a month ago, walking to the Cumberland Farms with Matt to get beer and some papers. It was shimmering under the late day’s sun in the back of a fenced-in yard. Even from a distance, I could see the long spindly legs of the black metal spider clinging to the delicate netting of its web, waiting for prey. I was mesmerized.
It´s a balmy evening, there´s a couple leaning out of a dimly lit window at the side of a house overlooking an alley. They´re both naked and their heads are wreathed in smoke from their cigarettes, its effect heightened by the intermittent blinking of a faulty street light. You can´t even see the moon or stars.
Let´s call her Kate and him Daniel.
He accepted the night. He always had. The street people never caused him any fear. It was a case of if he didn’t bother them, they wouldn’t bother him. The unapproachable demeanour which he carried also helped.
Muffy had a feeling her relationship with her boyfriend was on rocky ground when he professed he loved her with most of his heart.
“Come on now, darlin’. I gotta keep a little of myself in reserve. Who knows when the next Dolly Parton might show up looking for a guy like me? There’s not a single red-blooded American man worth his salt who wouldn’t want a piece of that action.”
I don’t want to say I knew that Dan was going to try and kill me, but I had a feeling. Not an “Oh my God, this person is a killer” type feeling. Just a gut feeling he might try something, you know? Like some part of me, deep down, never questioned it, and wasn’t bothered by it either. Maybe it was my spirit, or soul or something, I don’t know.
I’m out target shooting in the country when I hear the gravel crunch and somebody yells “Hey asshole, what are you doing?” Without thinking, I turn and shoot him. Well, shit, nobody should sneak up on somebody and scare him like that. Before, I can check him out; somebody comes running up with a handgun and screams “You shot my brother.” I turn around and shoot him too. Him carrying the handgun, I figure it is self defense. The first guy was sort of an accident.