In which an unexpected cut gets made
Last night, my left hand cleaved myself in two.
The division was pleasingly symmetric, although it got a bit wonky along the spine (it’s not all that easy to do with a kitchen knife).
My left side had finally had enough of being the silent partner, the good one, the better half, always held back by its troublesome twin. All those shows it had to miss, the dinners it didn’t get to eat, and the sleep it could never recover.
My right side is the problem child. It throws tantrums until the whole body has to vomit, and it ruins everything. It gets all the attention: ‘Are you sitting comfortably? Do you need anything else? Shall I get you some ice?’
My left side just watched all the while.
I’m not sure what pushed it over the edge. Maybe the conversation I had with the doctor about having to wait even longer for another referral. Maybe the paddy my right side pulled that meant I missed Hamilton (left side really likes musicals).
It’s free now in any case. A bit wobbly on its newborn single sole, and with half a tongue poking through half a jaw of teeth whenever its hand tries to do anything fiddly. But it’ll get there.
No longer hidden backstage, my left side finally has the spotlight.
It’s good of you to turn your awful, chronic ailment into such a dark, horror comedy. While I like the opening, it’s almost too jarring and a little clunky with the use of “myself” instead of “me”. (Maybe it confuses the detachment between your sides and you?) Anyway, it is a neat effect on it’s own too; perhaps another sentence would ease more readers into the shocking details. But then again, my suggestions might neuter your point…
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Hi Jonathan! I think you’re right about ‘myself’, I remember shifting words a lot, I think I changed from body to self to try and make it more than just physical. I think I might have meant ‘my self’ rather than ‘myself’, but I like the sharp bluntness of ‘me’.
Your comments are always brilliant, thanks for lending your eyes (and your brain!)
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You’re very welcome! I like that you put some thought into things too; there’s so much back-and-forth inside my head about the right words. “My self” and “myself” are equivalent, “me” keeps it simple, but I do like “body” or even “this body” because in the case of your piece, the playful distancing of who you are and what your body does is a key element.