Monday, November 15—yesterday—you killed your psychoanalyst

You said no, I’m the one who’s leaving. Keep everything, I’m taking the child, we won’t need alimony. You moved out on October 15, found a babysitter, extended your maternal leave for health reasons, and on Monday, November 15—yesterday—you killed your psychoanalyst. You did not kill him symbolically, the way one sometimes ends up killing the father. You killed him with a Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Profection santoku knife. “The unique forging of the blade’s edge offers optimal stability and exceptional ease in cutting,” explained the brochure you were studying at Galeries Lafayette while your mother was getting out her checkbook. This knife, which belongs to a set of eight, you picked up at Julien’s apartment sometime that morning. You grabbed the case without a moment’s hesitation. It went straight to the bottom of your purse, the zipper of which you closed with a firm yank. Then something very strange happened. You were about to leave the apartment; your hand had already grasped the doorknob when a black veil fell over the room. Suddenly you were no longer leaving the apartment, it was the apartment that was swirling around you, rising on all sides, floor, walls, ceiling, as everything was suddenly overturned. Sweat pearled in the palms of your hands as thousands of insects thrummed inside your skull, a swarming army attacking the slightest bits of bare skin, blocking exits, closing off your eyes, nose, and mouth. You slumped down on the linoleum, your head on your knees to help blood reach the brain. Dug the bottle of mineral water out of your purse. Drank a few swallows, prayed to God knows whom, hoping that the terror would fade away. From beneath a low cabinet, the cat’s yellow eyes—all that was visible in the darkness—observed you cautiously. At last you remembered that you regularly consult a specialist.

Julia Deck, Viviane: A Novel, Translated by  Linda Coverdale, The New Press (April 1, 2014)

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